Listening Skills of Trainees and Trainer
In many soft skills training programs, such as communication skills training, the trainer works on developing the listening skills of trainees through various training activities one of which is the think and listen technique. It is even more essential that a trainer himself have exceptional communication skills on top of which are superior listening skills in order to perform well during any training program he is delivering.
Great listening skills are not a luxury but they are skills that any competent trainer cannot afford to do without. A competent trainer would make use of his exceptional listening skills in many occasions.
Buffering Multiple Trainee Questions
When a trainee asks a question then a second trainee asks another question and then a third asks yet another two or more questions a trainer with good listening skills would be able to listen to all those questions first and then start answering them in one go. This buffering of several questions in a row in the mind of the trainer allows him to link the answers of related questions with one another and provide the big picture in one continuous answer.
Sure providing such a combined answer for multiple trainee questions needs superior listening skills from the trainer. Using such question buffering technique also displays to participants the greatness of the trainer and the high professional level he has reached making them put even more trust in him and show even greater respect for him.
Absorbing the Agitated Trainee
Another case where superior listening skills would prove handy to the trainer is when one of the trainees attempts to provide a long passionate comment expressing his own opinion with vigor aiming at refuting something the trainer or another participant has been saying. If the trainer in such a case attempts to cut such participant short prematurely the trainee might become highly dissatisfied, may even hold a grudge, carry strong negative emotions and demonstrate a negative attitude throughout the rest of the training.
If, however, the trainer allowed such trainee to speak his heart out, while carefully listening to him and mentally analyzing what he is saying, the trainer would be able to let the steam out from such participant. This containment of the agitated trainee by the trainer can even result in highly positive emotions building up in the heart of that participant, towards the trainer and the training as a whole, which may show up by the end of the training program.
After such trainee has completed his long and passionate comment, the trainer can then start giving his comment on it in a calms and to-the-point manner. This would never have been possible had the trainer lacked superior listening skills.
Listening skills are one of the most important communication skills that a trainer must master way before attempting to improve them in his or her trainees.
What other training situations can you think of in which a trainer would benefit from having strong listening skills?