Effective Listening for Safety Professionals

Effective Listening for Safety Professionals

By the late George Robotham



Effective listening for Safety Professionals

The OHS professional attends many meetings, facilitates a lot of learning and generally converses with a lot of people, often what is not said is as important as what is said. Being a good reader of body language is essential to get to the core of meaning. Effective listening is a vital skill.

Effective communication exists between 2 people when the process of interpreting and understanding the sender’s message is the same way the sender intended it.

Sources of difficulty by the sender-

Too low to be heard

Accent obscures clarity

Forgetting the purpose

Body language contradicts the verbal message

Sources of difficulty by the listener

Being pre-occupied

Listening mainly for an opening to get the floor

Letting your personal beliefs interfere with the message

Judging the speaker

Not asking for clarification

The 2 best types of listening are-


You are genuinely interested in the communication, try hard to understand and actively listen.


You re-state or paraphrase the message as you understand it and reflect back for verification and amplification. Reflective listening is a core counselling technique.

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