I learned a new acronym last year that may help me become a better listener and better interviewer. WAIT means “Why am I Talking”. In other words, ask yourself if you should be listening instead of talking. It’s an important part of our jobs as web design, developers, and managers (or any job really) to deliver a solution that both meets the client’s needs and our own self-expectations. We can’t interpret our client’s needs if we don’t listen, repeat what we heard, and narrow the scope down to the essential parts crucial to success.
WAIT (Why am I Talking) – is one of those clever little acronyms that HR folks and well-versed public speakers hand out in training seminars. I like this one and am going to try to repeat WAIT when I find myself in a situation where I should be listening or realize that I’m dominating the conversation. If you’re a manager or in a hiring role, people will let you blab on and on – but not because you’re the most interesting person in the world. So check yourself at the door – and you will be surprised at the very interesting things you’ll hear from other people.
Beyond the workplace, listening plays an important role in our daily lives. In order to listen you first have to hear. I recently (only 4 days ago) took steps to correct my own hearing deficit. One that’s been bothering me for a while and was becoming noticeable to others. I’m finding that there are no 100% miracle cures for common hearing loss (although I consider cochlear implants a miracle for severe hearing loss); however, significant improvements in hearing, such as hearing aids, are readily available. If you’ve checked this out before but were disappointed it may be time to take another look. The technology and miniaturization used in hearing aids has improved dramatically.
I’m not going to go through all of the symptoms and denial techniques that you may be using to compensate for hearing loss. Unlike vision, it’s hard to determine when you’ve crossed the threshold of hearing loss that requires correction. So – if you’re kinda/sorta/pretty sure you have hearing loss it’s well-worth getting it checked out. Be sure to go to a reputable doctor or medical facility dedicated to Otolaryngology and ENT-related disorders. I went to The Ohio State University Hearing Professionals, which is part of the Ohio State University Hospital system.
Active listening is one of those things that we all know we should do better. Like other techniques that we “should” use, you have to deliberately focus on it for a while until it becomes habit.