“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something”, says Wilson Mizner. Listening is a skill that not many a people are gifted with. An effective listener is equally praiseworthy as a powerful speaker. Proper listening enables a person to know and understand the matter efficiently. It is an effective tool in building up a relationship. Listening skills can also be developed and nurtured during the life time. We bring you some effective tips how to improve effective listening skills, which will help you in many walks of life. Read on and practice the tips consistently, to get this positive trait in you.
Improving Your Listening Skills
- Pay proper attention to what the speaker wants to convey. Free your mind from all other things and concentrate only on what he wants to say.
- Avoid pseudo-listening and try to actually focus on what the speaker has to say. Show appropriate actions that go well with the conversation. Smile wherever necessary and show gestures like holding hands or offering a hug.
- Make your environment free of barriers that can cause a hindrance in the proper communication system. The common environmental barriers include TV or music system, conversation among other groups, sound of moving vehicles, etc. Choose proper solutions for overcoming these barriers and ensure that the messages are well conveyed.
- Look at the vocal tone of the speaker, to know his mood. In case the speaker looks tired and exhausted, as a listener, you can help him focus on his message. Suppose the speaker is angry, be patient and lend a listening ear. Let him vent out his feelings and relax himself.
- Always wear a positive body language towards the speaker. You can use such verbal expressions like “I understand what you mean”. These can encourage the speaker to convey his point further to you. However, be careful not to use these expressions to start a speech from your end. You need to listen to the speaker, rather than conveying your own view point. Always remember to maintain eye contact with the speaker.
- Make an impression on the speaker that you are interested in his speech. You can ask brief questions in between his conversation, which will make him feel that you are actually listening to him.
- Avoid your temptation to interrupt in the middle of the conversation. Interference will only make the speaker frustrated and lose the track of what he was saying. First, let the speaker complete and then give your feedback or opinion.
- Concentrate on the words of the speaker, rather than indulging in finding debatable issues in the conversation. Remember that your task is to be an effective listener, rather than proving yourself to be a winner in a debate competition. Find out the points on which you mutually agree with the speaker and present them occasionally in between the conversation. This will be highly inspiring and encouraging for the speaker.
- At the end of the conversation, you can use expansion statements like “This is very interesting”. This will encourage the speaker to further elaborate on the conversation.