10 Tips To Become A Better Listener
By Ryan Light, Running/Anxiety Coach
Zeno, a Greek Philosopher said “the reason we have two ears and just one mouth, is that we may hear more and talk less.” Zeno understood exactly what he was saying. What we do is to talk more and listen less. People believe they’re having a discussion; however they’re simply waiting for the other person to stop talking so they can put it their two cents.
We talk to our children, and keep talking until it turns into a lecture and they block us out. We talk to our aging parents in that belittling tone, since all of a sudden we’re the “adults” and we consider them to be kids.
When we ask somebody how their day is going, we interfere with their story to discuss our daily hardships.
We believe we’re communicating, but unfortunately, we aren’t. We’re so busy giving our arguement, wise words, or opinion and totally overlooking what’s really important.
The point hear is not just to hear but to make a true connection with others that will lead to listening.
At the point when building rapport with somebody, listening is a unique tool a communicator can apply. Whether in our personal life or business, if you show you are tuning in, speakers will feel more great and nearer to you.
Here are 10 tips that will help you become a better listener.
1. Make Eye Contact
“I look past your eyes so I can comprehend your words.” ― Tina J. Richardson
Making eye contact tells the speaker your focus is on them regardless to what else is going ahead around. It makes them feel as though they are the most important person in the room.
Obviously, you would prefer not to freak them out by gazing at them; simply give them the courtesy of not giving yourself a chance to get distracted.
2. Show You Are Listening
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” ― Ernest Hemingway
You not only become a better listener by that, you motivate the speaker to speak more. In other to show this, you need to pay attention in various ways. Using body languages, eye contact, and even noting key points for reference sake are signs to make the speaker know that you are listening.
3. Give Feedback
“Examine what is said and not who speaks.” – African proverb
By discussing your belief or summarizing comments on the matter helps you internalize information and reflect on it. Do you know what most people love to hear? They want to hear others say: “This is the thing that I hear you saying.” This statement tells them that their words are valued by you. Feedback is like a test session in the listening course, if you give an appropriate feedback it means you listened all through the discussion and if otherwise, then you didn’t pay attention while listening.
4. Try Not To Interrupt
“First, let me finish. Then interrupt.” ― Brian Spellman
Allow the speaker to wrap up. Your respect will not be earned if you regard them with disrespect.
Atimes, people just wants to be heard. Venting about something that is pestering them can relief them they’ll value a listening ear.
It’s human instinct to trust that whatever we need to say is important. Yet, you’ll have more successful discussions by recollecting that the other person has a similar perception. When you feel that a person is done talking, hold up a couple of more seconds and after that start your response.
5. Offer Constructive Criticism
“You have to lift a person up before you can really put them in their place.”
― Criss Jami
If you don’t agree with the speaker, there is still no reason to hurt their self-esteem. Offer your suggestions by first noticing something you enjoyed about what they said, but then offering recommendations on how to enhance it.
6. Keep An Open Mind
“Flexibility requires an open mind and a welcoming of new alternatives.”
― Deborah Day
Of course, this is difficuly. But, keeping in mind the end goal to really communicate with somebody, we need to set aside judgmental thoughts.
It is virtually impossible to have a completely open mind when talking with somebody but you have to try. In some cases our own biases and assumptions can keep us from truely listening to what somebody has to say. However much as could be expected, imagine that you begin the conversation with a fresh start both in terms of the speaker and what is being discussed.
7. Empathy Is Important
“I think the act of reading imbues the reader with a sensitivity toward the outside world that people who don’t read can sometimes lack. I know it seems like a contradiction in terms; after all reading is such a solitary, internalizing act that it appears to represent a disengagement from day-to-day life. But reading, and particularly the reading of fiction, encourages us to view the world in new and challenging ways…It allows us to inhabit the consciousness of another which is a precursor to empathy, and empathy is, for me, one of the marks of a decent human being.”
― John Connolly
Placing yourself in the speaker’s place as they speak will help you get a sense of how they’re feeling and what they’re trying to express to you.
Empathetic listening is so critical for our social wellbeing, and working relationships. It builds family relationships, enhances friendships, and it’s a major key to providing extraordinary client service in the workplace. Also, true listening helps us resolve clashes with our loved ones, peers and co-workers.
8. Learn To Read Body Language
“Project a confident image through good body posture.” ― Cindy Ann Peterson
Listen carefully to how the person talks without saying a word. Observe changes in the person’s pitch and tone. Such changes can be inconspicuous yet full of significance. Additionally, observe the body language of the person you’re conversing with. Do they cross their arms, avoid making eye contact, or turn their body far from you? These are signs that the person isn’t completely occupied with the conversation, and presumably isn’t responsive to what you’re saying.
9. Understand Why You Are Listening First
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ― Albert Einstein
First, you have to understand why you sit back and listen to someone. The situation surrounding why you need to listen, why you need to sacrifice and dedicate so much time listening are few things you need to ask yourself before listening at all. Understanding should be your first listening goal.
10. Learn Something After Listening
“You cannot open a book without learning something.” ― Confucius
The whole essence (last goal) of listening is to learn from what the speaker has to say. It is being said that we learn everyday, if we waste so much time in listening and never learn anything new or modified in our life’s then we are worse than one who never listens at all. Worse because we wasted precious time in doing relatively nothing.
Have a mindset that the sacrifice you made in listening must pay off with a new thing learned. No matter how little you think what you’ve learnt may be, there has never been a wasted knowledge.
There you go! By taking after these tips, you can fundamentally enhance your listening aptitudes. While we as a whole know how to talk, listening is a gained ability that will require some practice.
Looking for an anxiety coach? Please reach out to contact me as I’ve helped dozens of people beat their anxiety and get back to living life.
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