Tips On Becoming A Better Listener

Posted under Uncategorized on Sunday 3 April 2011 at 1:01 am

Very often those people who are always late, who suffer from a habit of severe procrastinating and putting things off all the time, who have problems with time management and following schedules, also have difficulties with concentrating, focusing on certain ideas and, in particular, listening attentively to what others say. Being a good listener is actually not an easy thing, that is why specialists say that an average person when listening and observing others speaking does not perceive up to 75% of information which is possible to receive from what we see and hear. This includes the words that are being said, the tone of the voice, body language, and all other factors.

Many of us have no idea how many problems in our business and  personal life we could have avoided by becoming a better listener. In particular, learning such strategy as active listening can help us prevent many misunderstanding and communication failures. Below you can find some useful tips on how to become a better listener.

  • Learn to switch from a passive listener to an active listener. Active listening is a key factor for achieving a better understanding of what people around you really are. To become an active listener, you should remember about so called CARE strategy:

– CONCENTRATION: focusing of what the speaker is talking about.

– ACKNOWLEDGMENT: displaying your sincere interest in what is being said.

– RESPONSE: ask questions and response on what is talked about with nods or affirmative words.

– EMPATHY: share your feelings and emotions with the speaker and the audience.

  • Learn to pay attention on the speaker’s body language signs and analyze them. Body language, including body posture, movements, reactions, facial expressions and so on, could be very helpful to better understand what the speaker is trying to tell you and what does he/she feels about the things being said. Focusing on the body language will help you find out that many people tend to display alike body language signs, and also, understanding their body language will make other people feel secure and more opened to you.
  • Learn to give your full attention to the speaker. Stop doing other things or activities when you are listening to someone. Try to imagine yourself in the shoes of the speaker: this is the best way to understand what is making the speaker say what he/she is trying to say. Imagine what you would do, say or think, and how you would react on one or other situation that is being talked about.
  • Mirror the speaker’s ideas. It does not only mean restating the most important ideas of the speaker in your mind. It also means to support your communication with the speaker by saying the phrases like “It sounds to me like you …” or “I hear you’re saying that…” There’s hardly a tool like mirroring which can make communication more effective!
  • Learn to notice little things. Remember that a big picture can be made of those little things.
  • Learn not to interrupt. It is a very important skill which is pretty much rare nowadays. Let people talk and do not anxiously wait for your turn to talk. Instead, try to analyze the situation that is being talked about again and again, and learn to think not inwardly, but outwardly.
  • Learn not to judge. Avoid displaying negative reaction and always choose positive approach to what is said at the first place. Be always open minded and do not pass judgment on the speaker.