Listening is a virtue for most people. It is one of the most overlooked communication skills since time immemorial. People are always in a hurry to keep exhausting their speech, leaving the other person disappointed and lost. Little do people know that the road to wisdom is through listening and not talking.
With the increased level of collaboration required of us in the modern workplace, active listening has made it to the list of powerful tools to thrive not only in the professional circle but also in all human interactions.
Continue reading to discover the techniques to master the skill of listening-
1. Listening to understand v/s listening to reply
Most people fail to understand the fundamentals of listening. During conversations, people tend to listen to the speaker for the sake of counter arguing, and not processing.
Give your undivided attention to the person speaking and drop whatever you are churning in your brain. Be intentional about being engaged in the conversation and show a level of courtesy to the other person. If you need a moment to formulate your thoughts, take a pause or ask for a minute to finish up whatever you are doing before shifting your attention back to the other person. It sends a positive signal to the other person by showing that you consider and care about the other person’s viewpoint.
Make a conscious effort to clear your mind of distress and to disregard any form of distracting thoughts. Focus on what the other person is trying to say by gauging their body language and tone of voice. It also helps to make a mental note of the points during a conversation, similar to noting down the words of a lecturer.
2. Save your Judgement
Being judgmental does not require effort, which is why people effortlessly do it all the time. It could be because of the way people speak, differences of opinion, or even their appearances. The key to a healthy conversation is to be more accepting and open-minded to what the other person has to say, instead of imposing your point of view.
Never interrupt someone before they are done speaking. It may come across as impolite and condescending, and it also disrupts the other person’s flow of thought. Therefore, it’s in everyone’s best interests to be patient and see how things pan out!
4. Body Language
Mental presence during a conversation is also important by giving the other person soft signals using some of the following ways:
Maintain eye contact: looking at a person while they are addressing, can make them feel heard and also comfortable. Give a comfortable gaze and avoid a change in expression, no matter how irritating or boring the person is.
Posture: Try to always face the person who is talking and lean forward slightly.
Smile: to show interest and to affirm what the person has to say, keep a gentle smile on your face.
Nod your head: To be engaging, use encouraging words like “yes” or “okay” in intervals to show that you are following the conversation.
5. Be Consistent In Your Quest For Curiosity!
In a world that is full of distractions and impatience, it has become even more challenging for us to settle our minds and stay focused during our day-to-day conversations.
As much as technology has transformed and improved the way we communicate with one another through digital means, it has done more damage than furthered the purpose of human interactions. Our interpersonal and socializing skills have been sacrificed to text messages and social media interactions.
Though we have explained the simple tricks to be a better listener, it takes a while to adopt these techniques and master them. Practice them and win conversations wherever you go! Let us know if you have any additional tips that could be useful!
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