Active Listening

Are you really listening?When studying a school-based traineeship in hospitality you will learn how to use active listening and questioning to improve communication at work and at school.

The key to active listening is to give your full attention to the teacher, colleague or customer you are talking to. You must listen with your eyes and ears and with empathy.

Use non-verbal communication such as nodding to indicate that you understand and maintain eye contact where possible to show you are actually listening.

For effective listening to take place you must:

  • Actually listen to and concentrate on what is being said
  • Give the speaker you full attention
  • Not stereotype or block your listening because of bias or prejudice
  • Show interest through your body language and facial expressions

The correct use of questions is an important key in effective communication. To really listen we must make time to ask appropriate questions to gain full understanding of the conversation, request, statement or complaint. Questions that give you a chance to explore and gain more information are known as open questions. They require a descriptive answer. An examples of an open question¬† would be “How was your steak?”.

Closed questions will return a simple yes or no answer. Examples of closed questions are “did you enjoy your meal?” or “are you a member of the club?”.

Undertaking a school-based traineeship in hospitality is a key way of learning important communication skills to prepare yourself for the workforce.