5 things you need to know in SA business today and 12 signs you're a bad listener
1. The rand remained stable at R14.00/$ after it blew out to R14.37 on Budget Day. Ratings agency Moody’s said yesterday that the announcement in the Budget that government will have to raise its expenditure ceiling by R16 billion over three years would not weaken fiscal policy credibility - but it wants to see a detailed plan on Eskom before it announces its ratings decision on SA next month. Meanwhile, Standard & Poor, another rating agency, told Reuters that while government's payouts to Eskom are concerning, SA's current account deficit is still relatively small and the US central bank's decision not to hike rates mean that "on the external front the situation is not so threatening".
2. Anglo American's share price rose half a percent after its earnings release yesterday. Revenue rose 5% to $27.6 billion and its earnings increased by 5% to $9.2 billion in the year to December. Also: the company reduced its debt by 37% reduction since 2017.
3. Woolworths saw its share price slump almost 3% yesterday following its half-year results: Sales rose almost 2% to R39 billion, while its headline earnings per share dipped 3%. Clothing sales were lower, but food sales increased by 6%. Meanwhile, Truworths reported a 5% fall in half-year profit, but its sales rose 2% to R10.5 billion. This was better than the market expected.
4. Telkom has a new chairperson after Eskom's chair Jabu Mabuza stepped down. Mabuza will be replaced by Sello Moloko, a Telkom director and chair of Sibanye-Stillwater.
5. The ANC has apologised after criticising Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan and former KZN premier Senzo Mchunu for "attacking" black professionals. In a statement issued earlier this week, the ANC slammed Gordhan and Mchunu for allegedly blaming black professionals for Eskom's dire state. But Gordhan said: "It would appear that some individuals at Luthuli House give more credence to the orchestrated utterances of individuals like Matshela Koko who has done so much damage at Eskom. Accordingly, I must insist on a retraction and an apology from the ANC spokesperson." The initial ANC statement was issued under the names of Zizi Kodwa and Dakota Legoete, the party's acting spokespersons.
12 signs you're a bad listener
Reported by Cheyenne Lentz
You might think that if you're nodding along and making eye contact with someone that you're listening to what they have to say. This, however, might not be the case. Being a good listener takes more than just staring at the person while they speak. In fact, there's a lot that goes into being a good listener that you might not have thought of.
To help you determine if you're truly hearing what others have to say, INSIDER gathered a few telltale signs that you're not as good at listening as you thought.
You're not asking questions
"Asking questions is perhaps the single most important way to show others we're both listening and interested," said Kate Gigax, founder of Development Corps.
And different questions have different weight, she explained. For instance, questions that start with "how" will elicit a longer story about a process. Questions that require a "yes" or "no" answer are closed and are often considered clarifying rather than building the conversation. Questions that start with "what" or "why" tend to invite the speaker to expand the conversation, according to Gigax.
You're doing most of the talking
If you notice that you're doing most of the talking, you're inhibiting others from getting a word in, according to Dory Wilson, founder of Your Office Mom. Bad listeners, Wilson explained, tend to make it all about them, and not the speaker.
You don't paraphrase to show your understanding
According to Wilson, a great way to show that you're listening is by summarizing key talking points back to the speaker in an effort to verify that you understand what's being said.
Bad listeners, however, don't paraphrase to indicate they understand the message; they assume they know, Wilson told INSIDER.
You're multitasking while in a conversation
With the development of modern technology, most people believe they can multitask. The reality of multitasking, however, is a myth, according to Gigax, and studies have shown that the quality of the tasks being done when you're multitasking is significantly reduced.
"If you're scrolling social media on a phone call or finishing a text while responding to the person you're sitting with, you're not fully engaged," Gigax said. "Telltale signs are slower speech or missing portions of the story," she added.
You don't reassure the speaker of your interest
People tend to appreciate some prompts when they're speaking, Gigax told INSIDER. It may be a simple "go on" or "tell me more," but when we aren't actively listening, it's not as much fun for the speaker to speak, she explained.
"People who listen actively by offering prompts like 'say more about that' help the person they are listening to feel both interesting and heard. If you're not doing this, others may not think you're fully invested," Gigax said.
You frequently interrupt
Verbal trespassers, as interrupters are otherwise known, do not hear the other person out, Wilson said. These people tend to interrupt, she added, assuming they understand where the conversation is headed and what the speaker is going to say next.
Your feet are turned away from the speaker
Another telltale sign of a bad listener is having your feet turned away from the speaker, according to Steven Keyl, human behavior expert and author of "The Human Whisperer."
The feet are the body parts furthest away from the brain and under the least conscious control, he explained. Therefore, the feet point to where the mind wants to go. This sign will appear early on in a conversation if the listener is disengaged.
You're blinking too much
Something you may be doing without even realizing it is blinking more than normal, according to Keyl.
"Disinterest is shown when the blink rate of the listener increases. This is a subtle form of eye-blocking behavior to which the blinker is almost always unaware," Keyl told INSIDER.
"If the listener's head is nodding so much they look like a human bobble-head, chances are they are just humouring the speaker and aren't really listening," Keyl told INSIDER.
Over-nodding rather indicates that the listener is merely trying to maintain the appearance of listening, he added.
You frequently break eye contact
Anytime you spend time scanning the room while someone else is talking, it's a sign you aren't listening, Keyl explained.
"The more-subtle version is when the listener frequently breaks eye contact to look over the speaker's shoulder and then allows their vision to drift back to the center of the conversation," he told INSIDER.
You make too much eye contact
Conversely, Keyl said, making too much eye contact is also an indicator of a bad listener.
"Sometimes people psychologically check out of a conversation but are conditioned not to hurt someone's feelings by looking away. So they over-correct and maintain too much eye contact," Keyl said. "Another good indicator, that often accompanies excessive eye contact is little to no movement otherwise, i.e. no nodding, no gesturing, etc."
You take large breaths or sighs
If you notice yourself taking deep breaths or sighing often when someone else is speaking, these are indicators that the listener is losing focus on what the speaker is saying.
"Someone who is fully engaged in the conversation tends to maintain a more even breathing rate," Keyl said.
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