Do you get frustrated during meetings when your colleagues talk about doing something, but never do anything, and no clear action plan is created?  It feels like your colleagues are just sipping coffee, eating junk food, and talking smart.  You want results.  You want action.

You may be struggling with being an action-oriented listener.

Here a few questions.  Are you most concerned with the task at hand?

Is your main concern to figure out what sort of action or response is required concerning a message from another?  Do you appreciate clear and concise messages from others?  Do you find yourself often translating others’ remarks into well-organized mental outlines?  If so, you may be an action-oriented listener.

There are many benefits to having action-oriented listeners on your team.  It is appropriate when taking care of business is the primary concern.  It helps keep the focus on the job at hand and encourages others to be more organized and concise.

However, if you are always listening as an action-oriented listener, there can be a few drawbacks.  Your no-nonsense approach is not always appreciated by others who lack the skill or inclination to be clear and direct.  You may seem to minimize emotional issues and concerns, which may be an important part of professional transactions and personal interactions.

When clarity is the issue, you can choose to be an action-oriented listener.

Keep in mind, you can boost your effectiveness by assessing the listening preferences of your conversational partners and adapting your style to them.

At work, we probably all are, action-oriented listeners.  We focus on results and action-oriented listeners get the job done.

Whichever style you use, it is important to recognize that you can control the way you listen and to use the style that best suits the situation at hand.

If your organization is suffering with miscommunication, contact me at and I will provide a fun, engaging, and informative presentation on effective listening skills.