How to be a good listener

How to be a good listener

We all know that it is very important to be a good listener but somehow we are not able to become one. Listening works well for both, the speaker and the listener. The speaker will feel valued when he gets your complete attention, but at the same time, the listener will also get to understand all the details without missing out on something important. In this post we show you How to be a good listener.

We always meet up with people who are not good listeners and often this leads to problems. Moreover, with the increase in the technology our face to face interactions have become minimal. We use emails, chats, telephones, smartphones etc. to communicate with each other. This mode of communication does not help us become good listeners. Our minds are constantly racing with thoughts and it is difficult to keep attentive.

Some of the key things that result from being a good listener are listed below :

  • It improves your personal and professional relationships.
  • It helps to retain more information, which helps in better decision making.
  • It avoids conflicts and misunderstandings.
  • It gives clarity to your thinking since more information is available with you.
  • Good listeners are good decision makers. This is one attribute that is a necessity for becoming a good leader.

How to become a good listener –

1.Try and be interested in the conversation.

Being interested in the conversation is the starting point of listening. Many people misunderstand hearing for listening. Listening is hearing with attention. It means giving your complete attention, which in turn helps you understand the situation better.

When you are interested and listen carefully, the speaker will also love the attention and will be able to share more things.

2. Avoid interrupting people while they are talking.

It is important to know that good listening is the ability to listen without any interruption. Allow the speaker to speak and make their point completely before you start asking questions or giving un-asked advice. Be calm and allow the person to complete. Most of the time people are so anxious to give their opinions that they interrupt and lose out on important details.

3. Good listening helps you to acknowledge and empathize.

When you are a good listener, you acknowledge the other person by paying attention. It is very important to know that God gave you 2 ears but only 1 mouth, which clearly indicates that we need to listen more and talk less.

While listening to people, make eye contact and engage in the conversation so that the person is aware that you care about what they are saying. When you listen, you are more observant, thoughtful and have a better understanding of the situation.

4. Good listening helps you to ask empowering questions.

Once you listen carefully, you are able to ask empowering and meaningful questions. This will help you in making proper decisions. Good listening also gives you time to think and respond. Instead of immediately judging a person by speaking up, listening gives you time to think and understand the situation.

5. Try to sympathize and remember the information that has been shared.

It is important that you exhibit positive body language like nodding or listening carefully and also using words of agreement like “yes”  or “wow, that’s great” etc. These expressions show that you are interested in the conversation and are listening carefully to the conversation. However, it is important to say these words at appropriate times without disturbing the flow of the conversation. Absorb the information that is being shared so that it helps you to discuss and give proper advice, if needed.

6. It is important to follow up with the person.

After listening to the conversation, it is important to follow up and not forget about the same. It is important to show that you care and hence you are following up with the person. Following up with the concerned person takes your listening skills to next level. People feel touched that you made an effort to follow up after listening to them.

7. Try and keep away from distractions like smartphones.

Most of the time people are distracted by the internet and their smartphones. They are constantly checking their messages and chats while listening to the conversation. In order to be attentive in all your conversations, avoid using smartphones.

8. Try and be honest when you are not able to listen properly.

There will be many occasions in life when you will not be able to give complete attention while listening to the other person for e.g. when you are tired, hungry or worried about some other situation. In such cases try and be honest and excuse yourself from the conversation rather then trying to show fake undivided attention. It will definitely help you if you stay away from any such discussions.

These are some of the easy ways to build up your listening skills, which will help you to take better decisions and be more successful in life.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article on “How to be a good listener.”


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