Listening is a great way to build relationships and maintain a good understanding. Such a simple – yet difficult – skill like listening helps solve problems, resolve conflicts and improve accuracy. Its importance is much more significant in today’s rapid pace and high-tech world, as it enables us to tune in and establish effective communication with others.
1. Pay attention
Focus on speaker’s speech and body language at the same time; ignore distractions.
2. Be present
Use your own body language and gestures to show actively your interest; i.e. smile, nod.
3. Provide feedback
Show that you understand the speaker by reflecting their feelings, ask questions.
4. Avoid interrupting
Allow the speaker to finish speaking before you make any argument.
5. Be open
Respect the speaker’s opinion even if you don’t agree with it. Work towards a common goal.
6. Keep eye contact
This indicates that you are paying attention and you care about the speaker’s opinion.
7. The “Art of Mirroring”
Show your engagement through matching expressions.
8. Picture what the speaker is saying
Allow your mind to create a mental image of the information you are hearing.
At the end of a conversation where information is exchanged, conclude with a summary