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Use Active Listening to Boost Your Productivity

This article explores the true definition of active listening and how it can boost your productivity. To define active listening, we should first understand its opposite:

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Important Workplace issues

“Active Listening” has become a bit of a buzz phrase as of late – it’s something every workplace blog says that you should focus on, even if they never tell you why. One overlooked benefit of active listening practices is productivity – becoming an active listener makes nearly every part of your work, social, and home life more productive.

This article explores the true definition of active listening and how it can boost your productivity.

1. What is Active Listening?

To define active listening, we should first understand its opposite: Passive listening. Most people are, by default, passive listeners. But that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

Passive listening involves listening to someone without reacting, acknowledging, or giving full attention. It’s the listening most of us are accustomed to giving and receiving, even though it isn’t what we all necessarily enjoy.

On the other hand, active listening is a form of listening where the person is engaged in listening, reacting, and acknowledging. It also involves asking clarifying and probing questions to arrive at a deeper understanding. Full attention is being paid to the person speaking, and the listener is forming thoughts and reactions in their head as they listen along.

This type of listening is what people desire, need, and appreciate. This type of listening is what Maryland Attorney Alex Brown says helps him connect with his clients on a deep level: “I take the time to hear everything they are saying, and I ask probing questions to truly understand not only their problems but also their proposed solutions and the plans they are trying to achieve.”

This is an excellent example of active listening in the real world: Brown doesn’t do anything magical. He gives his full attention to clients, asks clarifying questions, and works to understand people truly.

To put it simply: the more active you are as a listener, the more you can empathize, help, and connect with the person you’re listening to.

2. 4 Benefits of Active Listening

a. It Makes People Feel Valued

It’s comfortable to tell when someone isn’t listening to you. When people see you are actively listening to them, they feel as though they are essential to you, and their words have real meaning. It’s a powerful thing that can make a big difference in every conversation you’re a part of.

b. It Helps You Intuit Solutions

When listening to someone intently, you get a more profound sense of the problems they are facing. This makes it easier to intuitively find solutions tailored to the person and circumstance. Passive listeners cannot reach those depths and are forced to give cookie-cutter answers.

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c. It Builds Trust Instantly

When you’re an active listener, people are much more likely to trust you, no matter the situation. If you’re helping a friend through a problem, it’s easier for them to trust you with a presented solution. If you’re trying to sell a product, it’s easier for the prospect to trust that you have their best interests in mind when they know you understand them. The list goes on.

d. It Helps You Avoid Misunderstandings

Misunderstandings can easily get blown way out of proportion, but they all start with one tiny mistake: a failure to listen. Part of listening means asking clarifying questions to avoid miscommunications. If you become an active listener, you will notice the friction in your conversations drop considerably.

3. How Does Active Listening Improve Productivity?

Active listening makes you a more productive person in all areas of your life. This is true not because of what it adds to your abilities but rather what it keeps off your plate.

You’ll avoid miscommunications and misunderstandings because you took the time to understand everything said entirely. When it comes time to present ideas and solutions, your offerings will be much more on track than if you had listened passively, saving you time and frustration. And, you’ll strengthen all the relationships around you, whether in business, social, or family life.

Becoming an active listener takes lots of work, patience, and practice, but the payoff is exponential.

Think about it: how many people in your life do you only speak to once and never again? That’s right, very few. Being an active listener boosts the conversation you have with a person today, making every following conversation that much better.

Take some time to consider how you can become a better active listener today – you won’t regret it, and your coworkers, clients, friends, and family will feel the benefits.

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Business

Maximizing Human Resource Management Applications

Here’s what you need to know about maximizing human resource management applications. That’s why you need an application management service (AMS) to optimize and maintain your new software.

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Collaboration and Communication Tools

You made a ginormous move when you overhauled your system with Workday or ServiceNow. Good for you. It shows you’re serious about becoming more efficient and saving time and money.

However, deployment is merely the jumping-off point – you now need help over the long haul with updates, bug-fixing, and any other issue that will inevitably come down the pike. That’s why you need an application management service (AMS) to optimize and maintain your new software.

Here’s what you need to know about maximizing human resource management applications.

1. What Are Application Management Services?

Essentially, such services provide enterprises of any size with sturdy, ongoing comprehensive external support for their applications. These consultants specialize in maintenance and monitoring that includes bug repairs, releasing patches, and other enhancements. Such consultancies are a growing business, too: according to Grand View Research, the AMS market could reach $87.6 billion by 2025.

2. Why Can’t I Use My IT Department?

If you have an IT team – and that’s a big “if” because many small and medium-size companies don’t – an AMS will free it to concentrate on enterprise progression instead of having to come back to current or outgoing technology regularly.

Or perhaps you have a small IT team. If that’s the case, you genuinely need a human resources management application to make up for that insufficiency. In any case, depending on a consulting firm to maintain your applications keeps you from employing a full-time IT team and bolsters your return on investment.

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And, as apps become more complex, upkeep has become more challenging regarding security and issue-fixing. It’s troublesome even to have a bug, but add to that a burdened IT team that will “get to it” when it can, perhaps putting the whole enterprise at risk or, at the very least, taking up precious IT resources and straining operating budgets.

3. How Can a Consultant Such as Mercer Help?

First off, Mercer has vast experience with both Workday and ServiceNow. The former allows companies to manage and track their workforce – and more. Because Workday offers a comprehensive understanding of your labor force, skills and capabilities, the resulting increased insight can help you make the proper organizational alterations, produce personalized experiences, and promote growth.

ServiceNow, meanwhile, is a cloud-based automation platform that enables companies to become more efficient by automating and streamlining everyday work tasks.

Either way, Mercer has you covered. The company can help you with:

  • Product rollout. Mercer can assist with establishing an action plan to help you get your product out on a timely basis.
  • Activity management. Throughout the year, you’ll get help with short- and long-term event prep.
  • Update help. Whether Workday or ServiceNow, you’ll get guidance with new configuration releases and ERP integration through releases. Mercer will also test your current setup to make sure you have a successful update cycle.
  • Whole platform support. Mercer will provide product environment configurations as well as functionality support.
  • Training and knowledge transfer. There will be regular opportunities for training and knowledge transfer.

The bottom line is that after going through all the time and expense to implement your new system, the last thing you need is for it to be repeatedly idle because you either have no AMS support or the in-house IT assistance you’re getting lacks expertise or is too overwhelmed. Maximizing human resource management applications by using a consultant such as Mercer is just the smart thing to do.

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