How To Actively Listen for Project Managers taking PMP Exam
In the course of a full day, it is quite possible that Project Managers will listen to various project related information like change in strategy, product related new add-on, issue needing immediate attention and various other important details. Now, in order to be able to remember all this in a hectic day may seem a little daunting. But if Project Managers practice active listening then these informational overloads can be easily handled.
Researchers have proved that only a minimal percentage of the information gathered by listeners are retained in the mind. Given this dismal number it becomes all the more important to listen actively. These skills are not taught in any Project Management Training since it is assumed that everyone would have it. Here are a few simple steps to be an active listener.
Step One – Remember the Purpose of Conversation
While conversing with anyone, it is important that we keep the purpose of the conversation in mind. A Project Manager will be able to maintain the interest span for a longer time. It also helps in bringing out pertinent question at the right time.
Step Two – Maintain Eye Contact with the Speaker
When on a one-to-one conversation with a person the Project Managers should make sure that they are directly facing the speaker. The Project Managers are able to keep their attention centered on the speaker and it encourages them to speak further. A Project Managers are already aware of this from their life experiences and those with a Project Management Certification know the strategies to wisely apply it when listening to their team.
Step Three – Indicate That You Are Listening to the Speaker
Every speaker would require from their listeners an indication that they are listening to them. Occasional nodding or one word response would encourage the speaker to continue with their information. The Project Managers who listen without small active listening signals are communicating that they are not interested in the speaker’s thoughts.
Step Four – Rephrase and Clarify What Is Unclear
Sometimes speakers may continue to speak without ever knowing if their points made sense to the listener. When there is an overload of information and if a Project Manager feels that the point is not clear. It would be right to stop the speaker and get clarification. This helps in encouraging the speaker to rephrase or reiterate the information that they wish to share.
Step Five – Stay-off From Being Judgmental
Project Managers who believe in fair working grounds for their team are often non-judgmental about the information shared by the team members. Let them get the chance to express their entire thought before raising pros and cons of the issue discussed. Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® 5th Edition) Guide, speaks about Interpersonal skills that is important for a good team building that results in effective producers.