Whether you're meeting in-person, talking on the phone, or calling remote with a webcam, you need to develop active listening skills to best handle conflict. Effective communication leans heavily on listening skills, which reinforces understanding between two or more people. How exactly do you actively listen? If you remember these 3 steps, you're on the right track.
We know that extensive social distancing has required a shift in the way many of us communicate right now. However, it means that active listening is more important than ever!
If you are unable to observe body language or make eye contact, focus on your word choice. You want to limit opportunities for miscommunication as much as you can when you don’t have other aspects to observe for understanding.
Make sure you are asking questions for clarification! If you aren’t unsure of the context or meaning of something your conversation partner says, step in immediately and politely ask for further illumination. This way, you can prevent conflict before it even starts!
If possible, hop on a video chat. Seeing someone’s face makes all listening easier, as we explain below.
Try to slow down your pacing. While working remotely, many people forget to take breaks and are tempted to rush from one task to the next. This will cause problems in your communication, so make an active effort to slow down.