Effective Listening for Safety Professionals
By the late George Robotham
Effective listening for Safety Professionals
The OHS professional attends many meetings, facilitates a lot of learning and generally converses with a lot of people, often what is not said is as important as what is said. Being a good reader of body language is essential to get to the core of meaning. Effective listening is a vital skill.
Effective communication exists between 2 people when the process of interpreting and understanding the sender’s message is the same way the sender intended it.
Sources of difficulty by the sender-
Too low to be heard
Accent obscures clarity
Forgetting the purpose
Body language contradicts the verbal message
Sources of difficulty by the listener
Listening mainly for an opening to get the floor
Letting your personal beliefs interfere with the message
Judging the speaker
Not asking for clarification
The 2 best types of listening are-
You are genuinely interested in the communication, try hard to understand and actively listen.
You re-state or paraphrase the message as you understand it and reflect back for verification and amplification. Reflective listening is a core counselling technique.