Think about the time you wanted to share something personal to a person and they wouldn’t listen to you or prioritizes something else over you. Now imagine how important and good you would feel when the person would’ve paid complete attention to you, looked you in the eye, understood and heard every word you spoke. At that point, you feel secure and happy that you have someone by your side who is always there for you. We all tend to talk a lot by sharing our stories and problems but we have to learn to be good listeners as well. It is not fair for the person listening to your stories, to feel ignored when she/he is sharing their stories.
- A good listener can improve relationships in his/her personal and professional lives, as people always like those who listen to them.
- They can learn different points of views and broaden their perspective towards things
- They can store more important information which might be useful in their life and career success
- Good listeners are pretty good at avoiding conflicts and misunderstandings, as they gain more clarity through listening well.
- They are able to make decisions easily because they have more information with them
Here are a few good tips which will help you to develop your listening skills
Remove or avoid distractions.
Put away your phones, put it on silent, turn off the TV to avoid any distraction. Multi-tasking is not really allowed in good listening. When you’re fully present in the moment, you’re more likely to retain what you’re hearing and give feedbacks with more authenticity.
Be empathic, sympathize and show interest.
Part of a good and effective listening is the effort to empathize with the person you’re speaking with. Whether or not you’re able to fully relate with them, your compassion won’t go unnoticed. Your body language plays a great part in showing that you are interested. Constantly nodding and not zoning out are signs of paying attention.
Ask questions but don’t interrupt midway
Asking probing question assures the listener that you were listening and want to know more. Avoid asking yes or no questions, instead opt for open-ended questions to prolong the conversation. Interrupting someone while they are speaking is a sign of disrespect. It can change the topic of the conversation which can be very infuriating to the speaker sometimes.
Think then respond
Let the speaker complete his/her story and then give out your opinions if needed. Think before you speak because your opinions are very important for them and one of the main reasons the person is sharing something with you. So rather that blabbering out the first thing that comes to your mind, take a moment to think about your response before speaking.
As you become a good listener, you’ll find people being pulled toward you more for your opinion and feedbacks. You’ll have a skill that gives you the edge in all your relationships and career.