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by Emmy Plaschy

Content Manager at REYL Group

Emmy Plaschy profile picture
Hearing is one of our five senses. You might therefore infer that listening is a skill that comes naturally. The sound certainly accompanies us all day long, whether we like it or not, from the alarm clock in the morning to the radio at breakfast, music during our journey, phone calls and video conferences, traffic horns…

What noise, what word catches our attention, drags us out of our thoughts, and activates listening? Hearing your name, a familiar language, a song you like, or, in more dramatic situations, an argument, a cry of distress, sobbing. Of course, hearing is not the same as listening.

But if everyone is talking, who is listening?

The monopoly of speech

Some people have the gift of capturing the group’s attention, thanks to an imposing voice, the gestures that accompany it, or innate charisma.

Society values ​​public speaking. Just look at the number of people on professional social media who choose a profile picture of themselves speaking with a microphone in their hand. With the expansion of TEDx, having your “talk” has become a career objective in itself.

This is a trend we are seeing increasingly in a society that encourages people to show off and assert themselves in public spaces, to prove their importance and influence. But if everyone is talking, who is listening?

Communication is often associated with a person’s ability to express themselves or to present an idea to others. However, the effective transmission of a message requires being in tune with the other person and anticipating their level of understanding. The ability to listen – and therefore to master silence – is an inherent part of the communication process.

It is when we manage to listen to the other person’s silence that we show our real attention.

Passive hearing, active listening

Active listening – also called sympathetic listening – is a communication technique developed in the 20th century by American psychologist Carl Rogers. Its aim is to verbalize the emotions that the other person is struggling to express and to decode their emotional dimension, usually not verbalized, in face-to-face situations. This involves questioning and rephrasing while demonstrating authenticity and respect, allowing the other person to express themselves without fear of judgment or pressure.

For Rogers, the emotional content of a situation is more important than the intellectual content and knowing how to listen in based on adhering to five criteria:

1. Greeting: know how to accept others through a respectful attitude, encourage trust, and show real interest, without ulterior motives.

2. Be focused on what the other person is experiencing and not on what they are saying, go beyond the facts to perceive what the other person is feeling.

3. Be interested in the other person, rather than the problem itself: by attempting to perceive the problem from the other person’s perspective, by using silences, and by showing empathy.

4. Respect: give the other person the assurance that you respect their way of life or how they see things, without making assumptions or imposing your own perspective.

5. Be a mirror: echo what the other person is feeling while rephrasing and identifying the feelings that accompany the words.

Mastering active listening has several advantages, both professional and personal: it allows you to achieve better client satisfaction, sign deals, resolve conflicts, better diagnose illnesses, and provide practical help to your friends and family. It is when we manage to listen to the other person’s silence that we show our real attention.

Society values ​​public speaking. Just look at the number of people on professional social media who choose a profile picture of themselves speaking with a microphone in their hand. With the expansion of TEDx, having your “talk” has become a career objective in itself.

This is a trend we are seeing increasingly in a society that encourages people to show off and assert themselves in public spaces, to prove their importance and influence. But if everyone is talking, who is listening?

Now more than ever, let us fully adopt active listening when welcoming our new colleagues and strengthening our corporate culture.

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The content of any publication on this website is for informational purposes only.

Alpian will launch its products and services shortly after its banking license enters into full force and will be available to the public in the third quarter of 2022.

About the author

Emmy Plaschy started her career in 2014 in Geneva as communications and finance officer at Maximum Value, a boutique professional services provider, before specialising in finance at leading IT firm, Sonar. Passionate about equality and the power of words, she joined REYL & Cie in 2019 as content manager in the communications department where she is responsible for internal & external communications.

She holds a BA in Hispanic Studies & Economics from the University of Sheffield and a MA in Economics & Management from Paris-Sorbonne.

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