Even though God has given us two ears and only one mouth, we speak a great deal and listen less. The problem is that everyone wants to be the center of attraction and get all the limelight. The “speak up” thing is etched in our mind so deeply that we directly correlate success with speech. It is true that you need to speak your mind to reach a certain level, true success can only be achieved by being a good listener. The most successful people in this world have always been good listeners, be it Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela or even Barack Obama. Listening is an art and a necessary skill to climb the ladder of success. It helps you become a good human being, keeps you alert and updated and facilitates your success as well. To many people, listening abilities comes naturally. As to the others, they can easily learnt it, by keeping a few things in mind. Read on to know how you can be a good listener.
Tips To Become A Good Listener
Maintain Eye Contact
Maintaining eye contact is one of the most important things you can do, to become a better listener. When someone is talking to you, keep your gaze fixed on him/ her. Averting your eyes towards the door or ceiling and even dropping it to the floor is an indication that you are not interested in the speaker. Maintain eye contact and observe your speaker as well as his/ her body language.
The golden rule of becoming a good listener is to give the attention to your speaker. When you give attention to a person, you give him/her respect and win a place in his/her heart. You also benefit by getting to know what is happening around you. Don’t let your daydream take you somewhere else. If you find yourself losing interest, ask your speaker to repeat the sentence and shift the position. Keep the position such that your main focus falls on the speaker.
Don’t interrupt your speaker by asking too many questions. It may put him/ her off speaking itself. Rather, listen carefully and speak only when necessary. Show that you are keenly listening to the speaker, but avoid breaking off the speech before the person is done talking. Let him/her finish and give advice only if asked for. Sometimes, people just want to be heard. Take a cue from your speaker and act accordingly.
Fidgeting is a sign that you are getting bored and are not at all interested in what the speaker is saying. If you want to become a good listener, ensure that you make the speaker feel that you are genuinely interested in what he/ she is saying. Also, be kind and gentle when you are listening. The speaker should know that you are truly interested and not listening just for the heck of it.
Echo The Message
If the talk is long, instead of keeping a long silence from the start to end, add a short talk after every pause. Ask your speaker some questions and reverberate the message that your speaker wants to give out. This will gives him/ her the satisfaction that you are listening and understanding properly.
Work On Your Body Language
You cannot become a good speaker overnight. However, you can practice becoming a good listener by working on your body language. Learn from the people who you think are good listeners. Through maintaining eye contact, leaning closer and nodding encouragingly, you give out the proper body language for listening.
Analyze The Speaker’s Mood
One of the most important traits of good listeners is that they are able to analyze the mood of the speaker and work in view of that. Put yourself in the speaker's shoes and ask how you would like to be treated if you were that person. When you know what you want from a person when you are talking, you would act accordingly when listening to others as well.
Very few people can fake interest and pull through it. So, if you want to be a good listener, you need to really be interested in what a person is saying. Show a genuine interest and empathy. It will show that you are not just a passive listener, but intensely participating in the conversation.
You may be a good listener, but if people don’t know it, the talent will go to waste. Therefore, be approachable. Keep a tab on the life of people around you. If a person seems gloomy or depressed, ask him/ her about it, but don’t press him/her for information. At the same time, be available for those around you.