If you want to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe to express their opinions, ideas, and feelings, you must learn how to listen well and consider other people’s messages, needs, and views in a sincere way. In this manner, you can avoid misunderstandings and conflict and you can also save time while effectively solve problems in partnerships. In addition, good listening skills can also help heal a person’s negative emotions because in this way he or she can really feel that she is being truly heard and understood. Good listening skills can help calm a person and allow for understanding and problem solving to begin.
If you want to understand and fully connect with other person, listening effectively and genuinely can really help. So, here are four listening skills you can practice to have a more satisfying and rewarding interactions with others:
1. Fully concentrate on the person speaking
When listening, you have to concentrate on the person speaking and pay attention not only to his words but also to his body language and non-verbal cues. When a listener’s mind starts to wander around such as daydreaming, it can distract him and make him missed not only the non-verbal cues but also the important messages. Also, avoid doodling or checking social media and other things that can distract you from your attention which is to the person talking. If you find it hard to concentrate, try repeating the words or messages of the speaker over your head so that it will be reinforced. This technique can really help you stay in focused.
2. Do not interrupt others when they are speaking
When communicating, it is very common for people to interrupt one another. Being interrupted always can be very frustrating. It makes a person feel like he or she is not being heard. This can also sometimes makes a person not interested to contribute to the conversation anymore. And sometimes, this makes one think that the person always interrupting is rude. This is one of the reasons why the relationship is damaged. Although this can be normal because on average, we humans only speak at a rate of 125 to 150 words per minute but our brain can comprehend and listen at a rate of 600 words per minute. It means that our minds are underutilized when we are listening to others speak.
However, there are simple tricks to handle this matter. For example, try to close your mouth while listening and keep your focus on the speaker’s voice. This will keep you from interrupting. Another one is to make notes of the points that you want to relay while waiting for the person to finish speaking. It is normal to have ideas that we don’t want to lose that is why writing them down will prevent you from forgetting them and from interrupting others. Take a note about the points you want to make when it’s your turn to speak but continue to listen carefully. Most importantly, try to change your focus by listening more than talking. This technique can have a very good impact on your success and your communication skills!
3. Avoid being judgmental
You don’t have to like someone or agree with someone in order to have an effective and respectful communication. You don’t have to agree with their opinions, philosophy, values, and views. All you have to do is listen and set aside your judgment and withhold blame and criticism for you to fully understand the person. In this manner, you can have a very effective communication with others and you can make others feel that they are being heard. In return, they will also listen to you and respect your opinions and ideas.
4. Show that you are interested in what they are saying
When having a conversation with someone, try to show that you are interested by making gestures such as nodding occasionally, smiling at the speaker, and showing postures that are inviting. By being open, you can encourage the speaker to continue expressing their thoughts and feelings. You can also make small verbal comments like “yes”, “right”, “really”, and even with non-words such as “mmm” or “uh huh”.
So, if you want to be an effective communicator, practice and master these four listening skills. Listening is one of the most important aspects of effective communication. Sincere listening is a wonderful skill and a very powerful tool to use in a workplace and other places that could make your friends and colleagues feel heard and understood. It can also help build stronger and healthy relationships for a deeper and meaningful connection.
How to Improve Your Listening Skills
Featured Image: thecambridgecounsellor.co.uk/training-courses/effective-listening-skills-training