“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Epictetus quotes (Greek philosopher associated with the Stoics, AD 55-c.135)
In human natural life, we are listening most of the time more than we speak, while this is called discriminative and passive listening which you are listening to voices with different level of sound and including the body language, but we need to control how to listen and when to concentrate on listening by managing and understanding listening skill especially on a career like analyst.
How can I control Listening skills?
- First, we should know what are the listening’s different levels and types? And how do we fit and allocate ourselves and our listening behavior on one of these levels and one of these types?
- Second, evaluate my skills and learn how to reach the required level for analyst career.
What are the listening levels and types?
[i]Most of the Researches talked about listening levels are mixing between the levels and types, there are six common levels:
- Ignorance Listening: the person does not listen at all, and you can easily notice that he is not listening.
- Pretending Listening: the person is not concentrating on the information and what are you talking about, but he may convince you and pretend that he is listening so well.
- Selective Listening: the person is not concentrating on the overall subject, but he is interested in something or a specific topic on the subject so he will select the topics he likes when the speaker starts to speak about them, also he may be biased to a person and he will concentrate on this person only.
- Misunderstood listening: the person is listening, but he misunderstood the idea beyond the speech.
- Attentive Listening: The person is concentrating and he understands the information but he does not give a feedback about the information he heard.
- Active Listening: The person is concentrating and he understands the information and gives a feedback about the information he heard.
The analyst should know all these level and know what the level he should be and when he can also use another level in special cases.
So this was the listening levels, regarding the Listening types, there are many types, so I will discuss the important types the analyst should know to follow and use:
- Dialogic: from the type name, the listening is based on dialog, Q, and A, and this will be very effective in analyst career.
- Relationship listening: it is used more in relations between the speaker and listener, for example, Lovers; it is good to have this type of listening relation between the customer and analyst. This will give the analyst a chance to understand and learn more about the problem domain and can easily get the information anytime.
As an analyst, you should not use biased and evaluative listening, as these types may create for you a resistance at customer end and maybe create some enemies also.
Good Listener techniques
Becoming a good listener is not easy. You should understand well the objective of this skill from Analyst career perspective so you can know how to use it:
- Analyst listens to obtain and learn new information about the domain.
- Analyst listens to understand the information he heard to analyze it.
- Analyst listens to build a presentable, readable and understandable analysis document, and validate this analysis information.
- Analyst listens to understand well so he can transfer the problem to the technical team.
The Way to becoming a good Listener
- Be Attention: to pay attention while listening with looking to the speaker and writing some notes.
- Acknowledge the speaker that you are listening: smile while listening or with Nod Occasionally.
- Provide feedback and summarize: always try to reassess and recap what you listened and validate it.
- Do not interrupt: do not interrupt the speaker anytime and ask for permission, when you would like to speak.
- Respect: respected the speaker and treat him as he would want to be treated
It can be argued that gaining the listening skills will qualify the person to become a good analyst.