Understanding of people around you is gained by being able to really listen. Although we hear instinctively, listening skills need to be developed and worked upon. A woman who does not know how to really listen to people will come across as being self-absorbed and lacking compassion.
Here are seven great ways for you to help improve your listening skills. If you can just take one lesson from this, you will become a better person.
- Try to keep your mind free of other thoughts. If there is something niggling away at you, you can tell yourself “I will think about this after this conversation, but for now I will remain open to this new information.”
- Listen to only one person at a time. Attention is the greatest aid to fully taking in what is being spoken to you. Sometimes, we try to get the ‘vibe’ of a room and we lose focus. Sustained eye contact will allow you to stay focused and will also show the other person that you are interested in what they say.
- If you don’t find that you are able to truly ‘feel’ what it is that is being said to you, then ask questions until you can see what it is they are saying.
- If you find that you are a person who tends to preach to people, it is probably due to the fact that you are not totally listening to them, and you have simply grasped the concept of what they are saying. You then proceed to illuminate them on your knowledge of the concept, rather than truly knowing where they are in their life.
- Ask yourself “What is their purpose of telling this to me?” Do they just want to get something off of their chest, or are they asking for your advice on something.
- Don’t interrupt someone when they are talking to you, even if you think you know what it is that they will say next. Try to also minimize the facial expressions that you show while you are listening. They act as an interruption as well, as the speaker may start wondering why you have had such a reaction.
- It is polite to restate back to people what they are saying to you, in order to show them that you truly understand what they are saying. For example, you may say “You are saying that..”, or “Let me see if I understand. You said…”
What tips do you have to improve listening skills?
Share your experiences in the comments section below