Active listening is an important interpersonal communication skill. The difference between listening and listening is very important. Most people have excellent listening skills, but poor listening skills. Listening requires being present and participating in the discussion. Think back to your last discussion. Who were you talking to? What exactly did you say? What did you learn? Most importantly, did the dialogue deepen, hinder, or leave your connection unchanged?
Active listening is one way to strengthen your interpersonal relationships. Being an active listener means paying full attention to what is being said without giving advice or making judgments. It takes a conscious effort to hear what the other person is saying. It takes time and effort to master this ability, but the reward is priceless.
Most of us are not great listeners; studies show that we only remember 25% to 50% of what we hear. When you chat for 10 minutes with your employer, coworkers, clients, or spouse, they will only listen to half of what you say. So it’s all about how you choose your words.
Definition of Active Listening
Active listening is a way of getting information from another person or group of people. It requires full concentration, comprehension, reaction, and subsequent memorization of what is presented. You are actively listening and comprehending the entire message, not just passively listening to the speaker’s message. You are actively listening and comprehending the entire message.
10 tips for active listening
- Maintain eye contact with the other person.
- Keep an open mind . Imagine what the other person is saying while you listen to the words.
- Develop your natural curiosity
- Curiosity is the most effective technique for building a relationship because inquisitive people are the best listeners.
- Make a commitment to learn something new before an exchange, whether it’s a one-on-one conversation or a group conversation. Put your brain into learning mode by stimulating it.
- Show empathy. Try to empathize with the person in front of you. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Sadness, joy, and fear are all emotions that can be expressed through facial expressions and speech.
- Avoid mental and physical distractions.
- The goal of active listening is to focus on the dialogue. Multitasking is a thing of the past. Listening requires avoidance and avoidance of all physical and mental distractions. For example, phones, laptops and other electronic devices.
- Once you have identified the trigger, mentally label it as a “distraction” to help you remember it when it happens again.
- When you are distracted, pay attention to what is happening and being said. When you pick up the phone, pay attention to what’s around you.
- Listen to understand, not to answer. Help him by asking questions to help him analyze his thoughts or feelings. His solutions are usually better than what you could have offered him.
Do not interrupt or impose your decisions.
- Please don’t interrupt the conversation with counterarguments. Interrupting is a waste of time. It is annoying and limits the overall perception of the message. Before asking questions, let the other person finish his or her thought.
- When someone talks about their problem, refrain from suggesting means to solve it. Most people are not interested in your point of view. Otherwise, they will be interested. They usually want you to listen to them and help them find a solution.
- Summarize and clarify. Briefly summarize what you have understood by listening to your interlocutor and ask them to do the same. Feel free to ask ambiguous or unclear questions.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Avoid yes-or-no questions; they often lead to deadpan answers. Instead, ask open-ended questions about the person to demonstrate interest and encourage thoughtful, extended answers.
- Ask for clarification if you want to better understand what the person is saying. But don’t get hung up on insignificant details so you don’t miss the big picture.
- Give feedback regularly. Reflecting on your feelings shows that you understand what the other person is getting at. For example: “You must be thrilled! “, “What a terrible ordeal this must be for you,” “I can see that you are confused. “
Benefits of Active Listening
- Builds deep trust . When you practice sincere listening, you invite people to open up. They can tell you won’t make rash decisions based on small facts. They also understand that you care enough about them to pay attention to them. Although it takes time to develop trust, the benefits are enormous, including lasting friendships and the confidence to help them through difficult times.
- Strengthens your patience – Being a good listener takes practice, and it’s something you’ll have to work on for a long time.
- As you improve your listening skills, however, one of the side effects is to develop patience. Patience allows others to share their true feelings and ideas without judgment.
- Increases competence and knowledge . Employees with excellent listening skills, regardless of their job, become more competent. Listening improves understanding and helps with tasks through gradual learning. The more information a person can glean from meetings, orders, and reports, the more effective and successful he or she will be in doing his or her job.
- It broadens your point of view . Your perspective on life is not always the whole truth or how everyone else sees it. Listening to the opinions of others allows you to see life from different perspectives, some of which you may not have considered before.
- Makes you approachable . When you manifest yourself as a patient listener, people naturally reach out to you. Being present for them allows them to express their emotions freely.
- Helps them discover and solve problems . Leaders must always be attentive to what employees have to say in order to recognize and fix problems. They are the first to spot weaknesses and offer ideas for changes in the workplace. Listening to your colleagues will help you identify what needs to be changed and improved to retain and develop talent.
Communication is a soft skill that is more important than ever in today’s world of high technology and stress. Yet we spend less and less time listening to each other. Sincere, attentive listening has become rare.
The practice of active listening helps the other person feel heard and valued. It’s a solid foundation for any successful conversation, whether at work, at home, or in social situations. When you master active listening, the GROW model becomes a very effective tool for improving your deficiencies in management and communication.