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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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6 Fun Activities For Your Next Virtual Corporate Event

Remote working doesn’t have to be boring because you can spruce it up with fun activities for virtual corporate events. These are fun activities that ensure employees are lively and happy.

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6 Fun Activities For Your Next Virtual Corporate Event

Virtual corporate events are online gatherings often held via video platforms like Webex, Zoom, and Google Meet. Such events offer an excellent way to participate in games and other fun activities. They also aim to help create familiarity and relationships between the attendees and improve work dynamics and communication.

Hosting a virtual event is challenging, especially for an unfamiliar group. However, it has become a new culture nowadays because most companies have allowed their employees to work in a remote setup.

Despite the convenience, working from home has brought countless negatives like burnout, unexpected distractions, and feelings of isolation. It also resulted in positive outcomes, though, like the ability to bond, connect, laugh together, and have fun with each other via 100% virtual means. Thus, businesses and companies have openly embraced virtual events as part of their work process.

If you are tired of the old encounters at events and are struggling to get fresh creative ideas, here is a list of fun activities you can consider:

1. Virtual Happy Hours

Despite having employees working from home, companies must ensure that business operations continue without risking employees’ lives. This opened an opportunity to find creative ways to interact with each other to avoid boredom, including attending corporate virtual happy hour with colleagues.

Virtual happy hour doesn’t mean going to bars or pubs after work. There is no need to wait in line to use the bathroom or stick around for drinks, and none of your coworkers has to call a ride-hailing vehicle to take you home afterward. This is because employees can have conversations and share drinks over a video call.

Virtual happy hours allow remote employees to socialize in a confident and comfortable setting. Working from home can sometimes feel lonely and isolated, but virtual happy hours help people socialize, bringing a sense of connection and belonging despite the distance. This also allows employees to toast to each other from different locations, like when they used to go out for drinks after office hours.

2. Health And Well-being Activities

Cases of mental and physical health issues are more common today than ever before. Hence, incorporating activities beneficial for your mental and physical health into your virtual event is recommended to ensure you are well taken care of, even in a small capacity.

For instance, you can incorporate a meditation break or a short workout between sessions, depending on the event you’ll have.

Excited young man looking at laptop celebrating online victory

3. Online Office Games

Online office games have gained steady popularity since several companies adopted remote work setups. Such games are conducted via a secure videoconference platform and last for 90 minutes. These include trivia, icebreakers, and mini-competitions that somehow break the monotony of work duties employees have daily. The game is headed by an eager host to enhance engagement and entertainment.

4. Social Media Groups

According to Statistica, an average person spends about two hours a day on social media. So, you can create private groups on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for more virtual social connections.

For example, on Throwback Thursday, invite your peers to share an old photo with the team, and they will guess who’s in the photo. You may also ask teammates to tag someone on an image you’ll post, say, Ironman, who may be a favorite Avenger of one or two employees.

5. Virtual Dance Party

Dancing is a great stress reliever and team bonding exercise where coworkers can show their goofy and vulnerable side. To conduct a virtual team dance party, invite your coworkers to a video call, then create an enthralling playlist that will call for silly moves.

Another alternative to a dance party is to hold a silent disco. Here, each participant dances to the music they choose on their headset. Joining a silent disco is easy as each attendee dances to a song of their choice, and teammates can guess the song based on the moves. Virtual dance parties involve movements that may help workers blow off steam without thinking or talking to anyone; only rhythm does all the talking.

6. Digital Prom

Everyone has that prom dress or suit sitting in the closet because there is no opportunity to wear such elegant clothes. However, digital prom allows coworkers to dress up and relieve their childhood nostalgia, using the same prom experience to help them bond.

Although this activity might be silly for some, it offers a playful way to interact with peers and overcome fear.

Conclusion

Remote working doesn’t have to be boring because you can spruce it up with fun activities for virtual corporate events. These are fun activities that ensure employees are lively and happy. So, if you’re looking forward to organizing a virtual corporate event, try the activities discussed here to lift your spirits.

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