Why Effective Listening Is Critical To Career Success

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listening to communicate

Why Effectively Listening Is Critical For Career Success 

Becoming a strong and confident communicator is top of mind for most business professionals.  In fact, great communication is the key to every single relationship whether it be professional or personal.  There are many skills you can learn to help you become a more confident communicator.  However, oftentimes people skip right over listening.  

Listening is critical skill to becoming a more confident communicator.

It may feel counterintuitive as listening doesn’t involve verbal communication. But the truth is, in order to boost interpersonal communications, you should be listening over 65% of the time.  In our e-course, Building Your Visibility Online As A Remote Leader, we discuss the importance of showing up for your team.  In order to do this, you have to be listening to them so you can effectively give them feedback no matter where you are located.

Why is listening important to communications and career success? We’ve broken down the reasons below!

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1. Being Seen As A Leader

If you want to be seen as a leader at work, you will want to work on your listening skills.  The reason for this is because as you move up within the company, you are going to be responsible for other people.  If you aren’t able to truly listen to their feedback, your team won’t be able to do their jobs. 

why effectively listening is critical to career successConsider the following as you hone your listening skills to be seen as a leader at work.

  • Let Them Speak – If you are in charge of a team, do you let your team speak to you? Do you listen to their feedback and take it into consideration?  Do you actively acknowledge them?  Letting your team speak to you and actively listening will not only create trust between you and your team, but it will also allow you to get ahead of any issues that may arise before it’s too late. 
  • Emotional Intelligence – Emotional Intelligence or EQ is one of the top 5 soft skills employers are looking for these days.  Especially in their executive team. Listening is a big part of having a high EQ. The reason for this is that EQ is what will help forge strong relationships, and strong relationships depend on actively listening to one another. 
  • Create Trust – Trust is a big part of being a leader.  In fact, a lot of workplace conflict arises because people don’t feel heard. In order to be seen as a leader and be top of mind when new opportunities arise, you must create trust between you and your co-workers, juniors, and superiors.  Knowing how to effectively listen is key to creating trust. 
  • Approachability – If you want to be seen as a leader at work, you have to be approachable.  This can mean a lot of things, but most importantly do people feel like they can come and talk to you about anything?  Do they feel like you care?  If you don’t listen and don’t care, when a true crisis arises your team will be less inclined to tell you ahead of time.  Make sure you are accessible and approachable.

💡We recommend the e-course “Developing Your Emotional Intelligence” to help you learn more about how effective listening is key to EQ.

Companies want leaders who are able to listen to their teams.  Working on actively listening will set you apart and you will be seen as a leader with strong interpersonal skills.


2. Clear Messages

 Effective listening means you can understand what the speaker is saying. In our e-course, The Art Of Communication, we talk about crafting messages and how to clearly communicate your intent so it matches your impact.

why effective listening is critical to career successClear messages are important for success throughout any company.  If your messages are clear your team will make fewer mistakes, they will understand the information given to them and there will be less workplace conflict.

  • Fewer Mistakes – It’s true, if you aren’t actually listening you are more likely to make a mistake.  In order to make sure you are effectively listening,  consider asking a question to clarify.  You can also paraphrase what the other person said.  This way you are sure you’ve interpreted what they said in the right way.
  • Sharing of Information –  If your team is committed to listening to each other, there is a much greater chance that innovation will happen.  And this is all because of listening.  For example, if Monica is telling her superior about an exciting new technique she is using to increase productivity – this could help the company tremendously.  If her superior isn’t listening to her, this technique could sit on the back burner for a very long time.  And Monica might not share any other information with her superior or her team.  In fact, she may take her exciting technique to a competitor.  However, if she is listened to and validated, she will be more eager to share this technique with her colleagues.  As they collaborate and get excited about this new idea, they may come up with something even better.
  • Fewer Mixed Messages – As stated above, workplace conflict is often the result of someone not feeling heard. If you are clear and concise in your messaging, your team will follow suit.  

When you effectively listen and understand what messages are being sent, you will experience fewer mistakes and conflict and enjoy watching innovation flourish.


3. Relationships

The relationships you make can help you as you move throughout your career.  And listening is key to interpersonal relationships. If you are only concerned about making sure your message is out there, rather than taking the time to listen to someone else, you will be less likely to forge those strong relationships. 

Consider how important relationships are for career success:

  • Networks – As you move throughout your career you will find yourself networking with people inside and outside of your company and industry. Being a good networker requires you to be good at listening. For example, if you are at a networking event, whether it be virtual or in-person, and you only look at your phone, you are showing a lack of interest.  Not a great impression.
  • Advocates – Having a workplace advocate can help your career tremendously.  An advocate puts their credibility on the line when they reach out on your behalf.  If you want to find someone to be an advocate you must have strong interpersonal skills.  Listening is a big part of interpersonal skills.  You’ll need to be able to hear what your advocate is saying and take into consideration their thoughts.  If you don’t listen to their messages, they may not pick up the phone and help you land that lunch date.
  • Mentors – Similar to an advocate, a mentor is there to help you navigate your career. Mentors raise your visibility within the company – this relationship is key to your career advancement.  A mentor can help you develop skills that are necessary for you to take the next step.  But only if you listen to them. It’s not just about hearing what they told you, it’s understanding what they said and how to implement their directives. 

Interpersonal relationships are built around listening. The more you can hone your listening skills the more solid your relationships will become.  And this means the next time a big opportunity comes up, you will be top of mind.

 If there is one skill to master it is listening. Not only will it help you in your career, but also all areas of your life. 


Do you want to learn how to be an effective listener? Join our private communications group where you can work with our Soulcast Media team on your communications every month!

Sign up for the Soulcast Media Membership today! 

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