Listening traditionally was considered a passive activity that involved simply listening to the person and responding when they were finished.
However, the effective way is to engage in inactive listening that requires frequent interruptions and asking questions.
The active listener is careful to show eye contact and interest in what the speaker is saying to ensure their full cooperation.
The speaker should understand that the listener is actively interested in what he is saying through a mixture of verbal and nonverbal cues.
Nonverbal cues may include nodding, maintaining eye contact, an interested expression, or more. Providing active feedback in the form of questions will encourage the speaker to feel more comfortable and will help the listener to cooperate fully.
Active listening skills improve every aspect of life and are not limited to the workplace. However, active listening cannot be developed overnight, but must be nurtured daily with every opportunity to listen.
Once you have acquired the skills of active listening, you will find a better conversationalist, who will improve all relationships within the workplace as well as personal relationships.
1. Dedicate your attention exclusively to the speaker
Our attention span has diminished over time, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to focus on just one task. This is only made more difficult by the presence of mobile calls, intermittent notifications, and other speakers.
Aside from external distractions, it is also important to clear your mind of your thoughts so that you can clearly digest the information that is being said.
When you speak, move your electronic devices away, or at least move away from them, turn the papers over on your desk so that your eyes do not look away.
2. Focus on body language
It is also important to work on body language and show the speaker that you are interested in what they are saying.
Most likely, as they see the interested listener, they will be more confident in how they speak, which in turn will help them understand the message they want to convey.
Gestures such as nodding, refraining from a hunched posture and organizing facial expression will do the job.
3. Be sure to provide feedback
Whenever possible, instant feedback should be provided to the speaker to ensure that the message has been decoded by the listener.
This also gives the speaker the opportunity to clarify anything that may have been misunderstood by the listener.
Paraphrasing is the right technique for correlating what you have understood with the speaker using phrases such as “This is what I understand …”. And “what do you mean by that …”
Try to eliminate hesitation when providing feedback, as it is much easier to simply say yes and say yes to understanding, but the reality may be far from different.
4. Keep judgment in check
This is difficult for many to contend with, but the positive effects of using this point are quite rewarding.
Mentally, as we listen to someone, we are secretly judging what they say and not allowing the mind to stay like a blackboard.
Interrupting the speaker and not giving him a chance to complete what he is saying is counterproductive. A clean whiteboard will allow you to receive the words with the best
5. Use eye contact
When you keep in touch with your speaker, the chances of distracting your thoughts are drastically reduced. However, it is also important to maintain eye contact to the point where you feel comfortable, otherwise discomfort will be achieved.
6. Keep your similar experience unless asked
The speaker may be talking about something that you yourself have experienced, but the best thing you can do is keep your experience similar until you are asked to do so.
The speaker may just have to share his or her experience, or you may miss the smallest details if you interrupt them at first.
7. Invest emotionally in what the speaker says
Simply listening and questioning the speaker will not get you the understanding you want, but invest emotionally in what he says.
Feel the pain, or the joy of what they say, to be able to feel it, put yourself in their shoes and wonder how they would feel right now. This may seem easy, but it does take a lot of time and practice, but it is an achievable goal.
This is a skill that separates the best listeners from the good listeners and is considered the hardest to master of all.
8. Let them finish!
Listeners often confuse the advice of asking questions with interrupting them in the middle of what they have to say.
It’s important to let them finish or take a break, and this is your tip for asking questions that will give you clarification on what they should say.
You will find that once you let them finish, the questions you had may be answered in the space of time you let them finish. So allow the speaker time and let him finish speaking.
9. Summarize your words
Summarizing what the speaker had to say can be a trick that will instantly give you results in your listening skills.
A summary will ensure that you understand what they said, give them a chance to clarify any misunderstandings, and add more to what has already been said.
10. Think about the conversation
The rule is to have a conversation and then completely forget about it. However, the key is to reflect on what has been said and what actions should be taken after the conversation to ensure productivity.
This reflection step allows the listener to digest the details and then can always return via email if they have further questions.
Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission.