How to become a better listener
In a world where everyone has an opinion on everything, being a good listener is a rare, but invaluable trait one should treasure in their friendships, relationships, even work environment.
Active listening helps us sense the perspectives and feelings of other people, and therefore enables us to pay attention in their concerns and also to tune in on their needs and concerns, all the while helping them to develop to their full potential.
Here are 5 things you can do to become a better listener:
- Learn to listen more attentively: Sometimes we don’t listen to learn, we listen to respond and that’s when we lose important information like motives, feelings, situations that have led the speaker to the things he/she is expressing.
- Look someone in the eye and show them that you are present: Checking our phones or looking at people going past as someone is talking is the worst conversation turn off and trust destroyer.
- Put yourself in their shoes: Even with people you have disputes or grudges with, try to understand what has led them to this situation and attitude. Are they right to respond like that? Would you do something different in their position that maybe they haven’t thought of?
- Stop thinking about you: Active listening means understanding people’s emotions and wanting to help -having been in the same position in the past helps your understanding but shouldn’t dictate your responses. Try to stop and think what might be different for the particular person in the particular time and act/answer accordingly.
- Do not lead: Help people reach their own conclusions by asking empathetic questions such as “How did you feel about that?”, “What was your first thought on…”, “How do you imagine…” etc.