Effective listening skills can benefit your life in so many ways. It can build a more promising career, build stronger relationships, and create more value and happiness in your life and others.
Here are 6 ways you can improve your listening skills:
Stop Planning What to Say While Others Are Talking
This is an honest mistake that many make - any time you notice yourself doing this, stop immediately and redirect your attention to the speaker. The more you plan on what to say while others are talking, the more likely you will create a disconnect. You don't need to prepare what to say, and often what the speaker is saying in the last moments will change your thoughts anyway
Eliminate All Distractions
Turn off your phone, the television, and anything that prevents you from looking at the speaker. If you don’t give them your full attention, how can you expect to learn important information? While society doesn't like this fact, humans can't multitask as much as they think they can. If you concentrate on your phone, you will miss the vital information the speaker is trying to share with you. Not only that, but you are also telling the speaker you are not interested.
Take Notice and Control Your Emotions
This will take practice but is likely one of the most essential steps to becoming a good listener. Your emotions are often the culprit to interrupting or speaking out of turn and distracting from the conversation's main point and goal. Feelings can easily confuse and rush you to a false conclusion. Take notice to control them but always redirect your focus to the speaker instead.
Don't Give Advice Unless Asked
It is natural to want to provide help and solve others' problems, but that is not what being a good listener is about. Most times, people want to be heard. If they specifically ask for advice, give it; otherwise, don't. The speaker will only feel like you want to talk about yourself and feel misheard.
Ask Questions and Repeat Information
Instead of offering advice, ask questions and repeat the information being given to you. This way, you fully understand what the speaker is trying to tell you. Plus, when you give them social cues to show understanding and support, it helps both sides of the conversation.
Remember, It's Not About You
Listening intently is critical to learning about the other person. Being a good listener helps you ascertain what the other person feels and thinks. If you find yourself interrupting or going off on a tangent, then you are not truly focused on your goal or the other person.
If you want a better career and stronger relationships, start by improving your listening skills. Becoming a better listener is more than just hearing the other person talk. Being a good listener involves taking the time to listen to their words and recognise their non-verbal cues. These tactics can help you connect with others better and make them feel valued and understood.