Submitted by Shawn Durr on September 7, 2023 - 13:13

Effective Communication is the Currency of the Realm

Our society has come to greatly value content generation, the virtual equivalent of talking. Social media influencers can make anywhere from $10 to $10,000 per post! Listening has become a lost art. 

A 2021 LinkedIn report in which 400 U.S. companies with 100,000 employees (about the seating capacity of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum) were surveyed, cited an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year because of inadequate communication to and between employees!  

That’s a pretty steep price to pay, but the cost to organizations goes well beyond the financial. Poor communication can lead to increased employee turnover, reduced collaboration, greater conflicts, missed opportunities, heightened stress, and damaged corporate reputation just to list a few. 

When it comes to leadership, especially during periods of change, communication is the currency of the realm. Listening is the most important element of effective communication. To assess if you are a good active listener, here are 10 questions to ask yourself.

Better yet, ask a trusted friend if you do the following: 

  1. Am I fully present during conversations? 

  2. Do I maintain eye contact and open body language? 

  3. Am I patient and avoid interrupting? 

  4. Do I ask open-ended questions? 

  1. Do I paraphrase or summarize what the other person has said? 

  1. Am I empathic? 

  1. Do I avoid making assumptions? 

  1. Am I receptive to different perspectives? 

  1. Do I prioritize understanding over being understood? 

  2. Do others feel heard and valued when they talk to me? 

Reflecting on the answers to these questions can help you gauge your effectiveness and identify where you can improve. While mastering the art of listening requires skill development, it also hinges on a conscious choice – the choice to recognize that listening holds greater value than speaking in most instances.