By Julie Goh

When it comes to effective communication, listening is just as important as speaking. However, many people struggle with listening because they are more focused on getting their own message across than on truly hearing what the other person is saying. Instead of focusing on the conversation, they are planning what to say next. This is where the etiquette of listening comes in.

The etiquette of listening is the idea that you should listen to someone because you are genuinely interested in what they have to say, not just because you are waiting for your turn to talk. This means actively paying attention to the speaker, not interrupting them, and asking clarifying questions to show that you are engaged in the conversation.

When you listen with genuine interest, you can better understand the speaker's point of view, which can lead to more productive and positive interactions. You may also gain new insights or ideas that you would not have thought of otherwise.

On the other hand, if you are simply waiting to talk, you risk missing important information, causing misunderstandings, and creating a negative impression on the speaker. Interrupting the speaker, looking at your phone, or otherwise not paying attention can also be seen as disrespectful and unprofessional.

In the end, the etiquette of listening is about being respectful and engaged in your interactions with others. By practicing active listening, you can improve your communication skills, build stronger relationships, and achieve greater success both in and out of the workplace.