Are you someone who often complains of being misunderstood? Or someone whose communication tends to go haywire all the time? If yes, then take heart, for you can easily beat this situation in life by notching up your listening skills. You can surely overcome this trait if you take out some time to read this article and hone your listening skills. Surely, talking makes you look better than any “worthless introvert” and wins admiration and respect. Then, listening always has bigger paybacks than blah-blahing. Remember, it is all about approaching someone with an open mind and open ears. Staying focused is not difficult once you have made a strong resolve around it. With some effort, attention, focus, patience, and empathy, you too can improve your listening skills greatly. The cue is to avoid distractions and interruptions, and concentrate. Remember, successful communication begins from effective listening. Scroll further to know how to imbibe this skill!
Becoming a Better Listener
Help Speaker to Open Up To You
It is very important to get the speaker to open up about his/her feelings. If you sense a roadblock in communication, ease out the speaker by showing sincere interest in whatever he/she is saying. Wait for them to finish their dialogue and then give your input. If the speaker feels stuck or is not able to express himself/herself, you can assist by asking related questions, which will help them to be more forthcoming in their expression and approach.
Put Yourself In The Speaker’s Shoes
This phrase – ‘to put yourself in speaker’s shoes’ implies envisioning yourself in the speaker’s situation. Doing so won’t just help you give a better understanding of the speaker’s state of mind, but will also enable you to be an active participant in the communication and thus, listen intently.
Direct Eye Contact
When listening, look directly into the eyes of the speaker and make it clear that you are concentrating. However, make sure that you don’t stare at their eyes blankly without blinking as that will make you come across as lost and disinterested. Also, don’t forget to use appropriate physical gestures like nodding your head and proper facial expressions. An appropriate posture and a good body language will surely make you come across as a good listener.
Show Your Interest
Ask the speaker to repeat or clarify if you have missed any important part of the conversation. This usually generates interest as it makes them feel being heard. You may also ask questions related to what they say and summarize to them in short what they have been trying to deliver.
Try Not To Get Distracted
It is quite understandable to get distracted in between a conversation. But, when you are listening to a person, you have a major role to play as a listener and ensure that you don’t get preoccupied with other thoughts. An efficient listener should be able to connect to the speaker, no matter whatever distractions are going on in the background. Likewise, you have to read thoroughly the message what the speaker is trying to deliver as though reading it from their mind.
Do not interrupt the speaker in between while talking as it may destroy the continuity of their speech. Rather keep your mouth shut and save your inputs to be discussed on later. Whereas some speakers ask the listeners in between for their responses on certain issues, in such cases you are free to make your point clear.
Don’t Bother How They Say It
Not everyone is good in speaking their heart out. Some talk too fast whereas some might take a day to complete what they actually want to deliver. In certain cases, people might not know how to lead towards their point while some might be uncertain with their words. Here, it turns out to be more challenging for the listener to receive the message correctly. So, you have to sense what they say and not focus on how they convey the message.
Switch Off The Gadgets
It is advised to turn off the gadgets while you are listening to someone. This would indeed help you stay focused to what you are listening and the speaker will also feel comfortable talking to you. Consider a situation when you are in an important meeting and suddenly your phone rings aloud or vibrates. The entire meeting would be distracted and the continuity of the meeting would be lost and you will be left out with people staring hard at you.
The Key Is Silence
At times being silent speaks for you and your body language delivers a lot to the speaker. Hence, adjust your posture accordingly to give others a feeling that you are not day dreaming while they are wasting their energy talking to you.
Look for a place wherein there is very little disturbance outside and that there is no one to interrupt you as well. You can also keep the doors closed so as to pay complete attention to the speaker. The speaker will also be glad that you are interested to listen to them and will feel comfortable.
Exercise Your Mind
The quality of a good listener is that he/she will have to come across various presentations of numerous people and they will develop an appetite for it. This will in turn help them improve their mental capacity by remembering facts and concentrating for a long period. It will also increase the rate at which you think when compared to that of the speaker himself.
You might have realized the fact that it isn’t difficult as it seems to be a good listener. Hope this article guides you through to be an intent listener.