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Listening Skills – The Important Attribute of an Advice and Guidance Practitioner

Advice and Guidance Practitioners – What’s the  The Most Important Attribute?

Why do we sometimes find it hard to listen to clients/customers at times? There could be a number of reasons  including they’re just boring, you have little interst in their problem, have their own agenda or they need to speak with someone else. For anyone working as an advice and guidance  practitioner the importance of good communication is of fundamental importance. If you can’t communicate whilst giving advice and guidance then you aren’t going to be very effective in the role. When we speak about communication we just don’t mean verbal communication, there is also non-verbal and another area often overlooked – listening skills. If you’re not listening to the client then how can you give sound advice and guidance. There are many advice and guidance courses available, including our own, but here are some free tips on improving your listening skills

Asking clients/customers appropriate questions is important, but nevertheless pointless unless we are willing to listen to their answers. Listening can be hard work, requires concentration and is a skill that can be developed. here are some top tips:-

(1) Stop Talking

You can’t listen to what someone is saying if you are busy talking yourself

(2) Concentrate

Try to give the speaker your undivided attention and don’t let your mind wander away from the conversation

(3) Listen to the Speakers Tone of Voice

As well as listening to the words spoken concentrate on how these words are delivered

(4) Watch for non-verbal clues

Look at the speaker and watch their body language. It will help you to understand their feelings

(5) Listen with an Open Mind

Don’t switch off when you are uninterested in what the speaker is saying or blank messages which you would rather not her

(6) Listen all the way through

Don’t jump to conclusions or interrupt the speaker before they have finished

(7) Summarise

Reflect feelings and content. If appropriate take action

If you implement these ideas you’ll be a much improved advice and guidance practitioner. If you’d like to learn more then visit the advice and guidance courses page on our website.

"Experience plus reflection equals learning" - John Dewey