Seven Levels of Listening – Administrative Professionals Conference

Seven Levels of Listening – Administrative Professionals Conference

Recently I attended the sold out Administrative Professionals Conference (APC) hosted by the American Society of Administrative Professionals in Orlando, Florida. Over 1600 administrative professionals of all levels, from all over the world, came together for 3 full days of seminars, workshops, and training.

It was a great reminder that there is an entire community out there of Administrative Professionals. It was an opportunity to network with companies from all over the globe with 3 full days of sessions and workshops presented by professional trainers. APC is one of the leading training conferences for administrative and executive assistants. It was a chance to develop new skills to bring back and share with my team. It was a time to exchange best practices and ideas with peers and making new connections. It’s always exciting to learn new things that can increase productivity and increase our value as Administrative Professionals. Ultimately making us more valuable to our clients.

During the conference the session tracks were organized into five educational tracks – Business Acumens, Core Competencies, Effective Leadership and Influencing, Professional Personal Growth and Technology Tools.

One of the powerful take-away for me was listening to Ryan Leak’s Keynote:.  “The most important part of communication isn’t how well you talk, but how well you are listening. And are there levels to it. Once we learn them, we can nurture incredible work relationships, so that we’re all the team members that everyone wants to work with. Listening is probably the most underrated component of communication”

Seven Levels of Listening

  1. Not listening: Not paying attention to or ignoring the other person’s communications.
  2. Pretend listening: Acting like or giving the impression that you are paying attention to another person’s communications, but in actuality not really paying attention to that individual.
  3. Partially listening: Only focusing on part of the other person’s communication or only giving it your divided attention.
  4. Focused listening: Giving the other person your undivided attention to his or her communication.
  5. Interpretive listening: Going beyond just paying attention but really trying to understand what the other person is communicating.
  6. Interactive listening: Being involved in the communications by asking clarifying questions or acknowledging understanding of the communication.
  7. Engaged listening: Being fully engaged in communications involves listening to the other person’s views, feelings, interpretations, values, etc. concerning the communication and sharing yours as well with the other person(s). In engaged listening, both parties are given the opportunity to fully express their views, feelings and ideas.

Often times working in our industry as an Admin Professional it is easy to feel like you are working in a silo, not feeling valued. There are times when the roles of the admin or executive admin are not understood. It’s a position that is not often thanked publicly. Global industries send admins of all levels to this conference as a way to recognize their value and reward them by sending them to APC.

Another reminder for me – the Administrative Professional is more than a job, it’s a profession.