Sure, technology professionals need to possess exemplary technical skills to thrive in their career. But in a business world increasingly dependent on teamwork, the ability to collaborate with coworkers and clients is also vital.
It’s one of the reasons for the growing popularity of DevOps in the IT industry. Being able to successfully collaborate becomes easier with strong critical listening skills. In fact, listening just might be the most important soft skill for any tech professional. Let’s take a closer look at why active listening matters so much in today’s business environment.
Listening is Critical For Meaningful Business Communication
“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.” ― Zeno of Citium
When closely collaborating on a tech project, communication is essential aspect of this teamwork. Considering most IT teams contain at least a few members, you end up spending more time listening than speaking. The quote from Zeno of Citium applies perfectly to this situation.
Active listening helps you better understand the different perspectives of the other members of your team. It’s absolutely vital when interacting with clients or internal business stakeholders. In the end, the project’s success likely depends on the team’s collective ability to listen to each other.
Steps to Improve Your Active Listening Skills
While it seems obvious, focusing on the speaker helps you listen to what they are saying. Sure, it’s easy to be distracted in a meeting, especially an Agile standup, but the right amount of focus helps you better remember what they said. Meetings also become more effective when every attendee follows a similar approach.
In addition to remembering, also make an effort to understand what the speaker said, as well as their point of view. Feel free to ask a question if anything needs to be clarified. When it comes time for you to speak, use this understanding to better inform your own points.
Non-Verbal Communication Also Matters
You also need to “listen” to a speaker’s non-verbal communication. Some research studies note that over 90 percent of all communication is non-verbal. So pay attention to facial expressions, gestures, and other forms of body language to get a deeper understanding on what’s being said.
In the end, becoming a better critical listener makes you a more valuable technology professional.
Looking for the next step in your career?
If you need advice on your IT career, speak with the insightful team at The CERES Group. As one of the top technical staffing agencies in New England, we also know the companies looking for talented candidates. Connect with us soon!