How to be a good listener? – The vital key in communication

Good ListenerNot able to get what a person is trying to tell you properly? Not clear about the speaker’s ideas?

Then, you are merely hearing, not listening properly!

But don’t worry! We are here to help you and enhance your listening skills.

“Listening is the ability of a person to receive and interpret messages accurately in communication process”

Without listening properly to someone, his/her messages can easily be misunderstood. Therefore, listening to someone is vital key in our day to day life.

‘Listening’ can’t be compared to ‘Hearing’ because hearing only refers to the sounds that you hear and nothing ahead. Listening is one step ahead of Hearing i.e. hearing the sound – how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body. In other words, listening means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages.

Here are some tips to help you develop effective listening skills:

1. Place yourself in the other person’s shoes

Face the speaker and maintain eye contact. Try to put yourself in speaker’s shoes. Try to understand what he/she is trying to say, why the speaker is trying to tell those things, what is the aim of the speaker, try to picture out what the speaker is telling, feel and keep an eye on person’s body language, his/her voice.
Accurately analyzing and scanning the speaker’s mind is the key to understand the speaker and his/her words. It helps in communicating better. Understanding the speaker is the vital thing in a communication process.

2. Be attentive, but relax too

Now that you’ve made eye contact, relax. Remain attentive and focused on what the speaker is telling, but the same time relax. You don’t have to stare fixedly at the other person. You can look away now and then and carry on like a normal person.
Let the speaker feel comfortable and easy :)

3. Give the speaker regular feedback by simple gestures
Appreciate the speaker if you come to know new thing form him/her or when you agree the speaker by simply nodding with a smile on your face. You can also show your appreciation through appropriate facial expressions and an occasional well-timed “hmmm” or “uh huh.”

4. Don’t interrupt in between when the speaker is speaking

The most annoying thing by which a speaker get irritated is the interruption of someone. No one likes to hear something from others when it’s his/her turn to speak.
Don’t ever try to impose your “solutions” on other’s thinking. Don’t ever!

5. Wait for the speaker to pause to ask questions
When you don’t understand something, of course you should ask the speaker to explain it to you. But rather than interrupt, wait until the speaker pauses. Then say something like, “Wait a second. I didn’t understand what you just said about…”

Ask questions only to ensure understanding rather than to irritate the speaker by asking him annoying questions. By asking “such” type of questions will make you look fool in the entire conference room, not the speaker.

Hope this tips will help you and enhance your listening skills. Always remember that you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. It is more beneficial to listen than it is to talk. :)

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