10 Key Points To Improve Workplace Listening and Non-Verbal Communication

  • 1. Respect the speaker while they are expressing their point
  • 2. Be involved with the speaker, but do not interrupt
  • 3. Minimize all possible internal/external distractions
  • 4. Differentiate and identify facts and beliefs
  • 5. Clarify with questions and paraphrasing
  • 6. Take notes to help retain information presented
  • 7. Read body language and facial expressions in context
  • 8. Ensure you are well groomed, neat and appropriately dressed
  • 9. Be punctual to all meetings and appointments
  • 10. Be aware of cultural differences and customs

Sunday, November 30, 2008

10 Key Points to Improve Workplace Listening

Click below for the downloadable Microsoft Word version:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Workplace listening and nonverbal communication, which is all unwritten and unspoken messages that are expressed through eye contact, facial expression, body language and such, are two important aspects of the world of business communication. Possessing the resources and knowledge of these topics gives anyone the upper hand as far as how they are portrayed and communicate with their surroundings, and how they are able to properly master the art of listening.
Listening is not only an automatic response to noise, but is a critical employee and management skill that leads to career success, organization effectiveness and worker satisfaction. It is most important because of the amount of time one spends doing it: “Most workers spend 30 to 45 percent of their communication time listening, while executives spend 60 to 70 percent of their communication time listening.”
[1][1] Avoiding poor listening habits, deciphering the various types of workplace listening, knowing about the listening process and its barriers, and mastering the ten keys to building powerful listening skills, are all the tools one needs to be a complete and effective listener in the professional world.Nonverbal communication is defined as all unwritten and unspoken messages, both intentional and unintentional: eye contact, facial expression, body movements, appearance, etc. Awareness about this topic is extremely important because it is said that up to 92% of communication between two individuals is nonverbal. Therefore, understanding the functions and various forms of nonverbal communication, and studying the techniques for improving nonverbal communication skills in the workplace, are all necessary in order to become an effective communicator.
[1][1]Guffey, Rhodes and Rogin. (2007) Business Communication: Process and Product Brief Canadian Edition. Thomson-Nelson.

Overview of Workplace Listening

Active listening is necessary in the workplace to ensure ideas, responsibilities and tasks are communicated properly. The following website provides a good foundation definition of this topic

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Mindtools provides an incredible roster of information to further different career related skills. In particular this link gives a outline on how to be an active listener:

Quick and easy read to better listening for a better workplace

Dr John A. Kline's "Listening Effectively" outlines the listening process and types of listening :
Listening Process:
Types of Listening:

Overview of Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication plays a huge role in the workplace. The following websites offer well rounded definitions of this subject

Courtesy of Wikipedia:

Matthew Cicalese from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey:

Concordia University Students: John Molson School of Business
(Possibility of a link exchange in progress)

A Few Good Books

Prefer hardcopy information? Here are a few of our top choices for literature pertaining to workplace listening and non-verbal communication.
(All available for purchase through Amazon.ca!)

Communicating at Work: Creating Messages That Get Results By: Ronald S. Blicq

The Non-Verbal Advantage: Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work By: Carol Kinsey Goman

Active Listening: Improve Your Ability to Listen and Lead By: Center for creative leadership and Michael H. Hoppe

Listen for Success By: Arthur K. Roberston

The Definitive Book of Body Language By: Allan and Barbara Pease

Slideshow (Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation)

Here is a useful Powerpoint presentation addressing the main topics of our website in a easy to follow format (6x6)

Feel free to download the presentation or the PDF version of the printable slides.

Power Point Presentation
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

Click below to download the PDF printable version of this presentation (5 pages, 13 slides)
Click below to download the Microsoft Powerpoint version of this presentation (13 slides)

Teaching Tools

The following are useful tools to learn on your own or to teach others!

Sometimes ineffective communication results in conflict! Here is a PDF version of a presentation dedicated specifically to conflict resolution for you to download and print! (38 pages, 3 slides each)

Authorstream provides a countless number of online presentations. If you find something you like simply post your email address and it will be emailed to you! Here is a helpful one on Nonverbal communication (22 slides):

Here is a useful presentation addressing the topic of listening (10 slides):

The terminology used in communication studies is extensive! The following presentation (available in PDF format for easy printing) covers a wide range of communication terminology (8 pages, 3 slides each):

This document provided by Foreign Affairs Canada and International Trade Canada is a great handbook on active listening and communicating well. It also includes a quiz to help assess your knowledge and growth on the subject. (PDF file 17 pages)