Do you ever feel like people are talking at you, but not really listening to you? It can be frustrating can’t it? We all like to feel that we are being heard.
That’s why listening is an important part of communication. And the better your communication, the better your relationships.
Being a good listener shows that you care for, and can empathise with, the other person. It tells them they can build trust and rapport with you. In turn, they will feel valued, appreciated and worthy of your time and focus.
Improve your listening, and you’ll improve your communication.
Here are some tips and tricks on how to be a better listener:
- Keep your eyes focused on the speaker so they know you are listening
- Give them your full attention. Engage all your senses to maintain your focus, especially your hearing and seeing.
- Clear you mind of other stuff you might be thinking about. In this moment, make the other person your priority.
- Lose the noise. If it’s hard to hear, move to a quieter location or turn down distractions like the TV or music.
- Let the other person know that you are tuned into them by nodding and verbalizing that you understand. Be genuine with this – others can tell when you’re just making the right moves but not really taking in what they are saying.
- Asking questions at the appropriate moment shows you are interested in the other person’s point of view. Often it’s best to ask questions after they have finished speaking.
Know when to remain silent. Allow the other person to pause and think without interrupting them.
If you are not exactly sure of the meaning behind what they are saying, ask for clarification, and then reflect back to them what you understand it to be.
Want to be a better communicator? Listen up.