Being a good listener boosts confidence, trust and builds strong relationships says Brian Colombana.
Here are some tips to help you be a better listener.
Knowing how to listen is an important skill that not only helps us connect with the people in our lives, but also comes in handy at work, school and just about anywhere else. While it may sound simple, being a good listener takes effort and practice, which is something that not everyone is willing or able to put in.
Fortunately for us there are some basic elements that can help anyone become a better listener by focusing on what’s important, listening without distractions and practicing your listening skills.
Here are some tips on how to be a good listener.
Be Present Mentally
Try hard not to think about what you are going to say next while someone else is talking. It’s the worst feeling when the other person stops in the middle of their sentence because you’re thinking about your response instead of listening. Try focusing completely on what they are saying. If you find yourself drifting off, start by repeating what they just said in your mind to keep yourself focused and engaged.
This is a major challenge for many of us. It’s extremely important to listen without interrupting the person who is speaking because it shows that you are attentive, interested and care about what they have to say. If you feel the need to jump in try holding back the impulse and wait until the speaker has finished their point before adding anything else says Brian Colombana.
Make Eye Contact
There is a reason why so many people find it uncomfortable. When someone is staring at them intently. Too much eye contact can be seen as aggressive. But looking away while someone is talking to you can seem like you’re disinterested or even dismissive of their opinions. The key here is finding the balance between too much and too little eye contact, which will help you appear attentive while also not showing that your full attention is focused on them.
Body Language Matters
What you do with your body while the other person is talking can also affect how well you listen. If you’re fidgeting, leaning away from the speaker or playing with something in your hands. They will sense that you are not fully engaged and may stop sharing what’s on their mind. Body language is a non-verbal way of communicating and one of the most important elements in being a good listener.
Practice Makes Perfect
The only way to be a better listener is to practice your listening skills, so find ways to incorporate active listening into your daily life explains Brian Colombana. Instead of tuning out when you overhear someone speaking around you, try giving them your full attention and focus on what they’re saying. Or if you’re in a group discussion, actively listen to what everyone else has to say and add your own thoughts when it’s your turn.
Don’t assume that because you aren’t talking that you don’t have anything important to add. The best conversations happen when everyone listens and responds at the same time, creating an interesting dialogue that flows from one person to the next. The more you practice your listening skills, the easier it will become and you’ll find yourself looking forward to conversations with those around you.
How to Be a Good Listener (Self Help HQ)
Being a good listener is not only important in our personal lives, but is also crucial when at work or school. In fact, our ability to listen can have a significant effect on our career paths and even the personal relationships we cultivate over time.
While it may sound simple, being a good listener takes effort and practice, which is something that not everyone is willing or able to put in. Fortunately for us there are some basic elements that can help anyone become a better listener and improve their relationships.
Listening skills are important for everyone, no matter if they want to be a good partner, friend or coworker says Brian Colombana. Below you can find some helpful tips that will hopefully help you with the next conversation.