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According to this data, people spend between 70 and 80% of their day engaged in some form of communication, and about 55% of their time is devoted to listening.

The problem?

Most people usually only remember about 17 to 25% of the things they listen to.

This is definitely the case in the workplace – and specifically with leaders/managers. I talk to professionals all the time who complain to me that their boss doesn’t listen to what they have to say.

I’ve learned through my years in HR and in Career Coaching/Counseling that the most effective leaders make sure the people on their team feel heard.

But that’s easier said than done!

So what are the tangible things that leaders can identify and work on doing better to be effective listeners in the workplace?

Alison Davis recently wrote a very insightful article about this very topic, identifying 5 barriers that keep leaders from listening. Here’s a top-line look at her insights (I recommend you read the whole article).

1. Mind-Reading. Davis makes the point that too often we focus on what we presume people are feeling or communicating through body language instead of literally focusing on the words they are saying.

2. Filtering. We often hear what we want to hear, and omit the rest.

3. Judging. Leaders are prone to pre-judge someone before they even begin speaking based on past experiences, often making snap judgements on what others are saying.

4. Advising. Leaders are often overly ready to “help”, giving their two cents on how an issue can be solved before even letting the other person finish talking.

5. Being right. We’ve all seen this one – a person in a leadership role who simply CAN NOT be wrong. Just because you are in a position of authority doesn’t mean you have to always be right.

Again, I hope you will read the entire article and consider how your career could develop for the better by simply opening your mind – and your ears.