Techniques to Help You Be an Active Listener
Among the effective tools that you may add to improve your performance and skills is simply becoming an active listener. Studies showed that an average person remembers only 25 to 50 percent of what he/she hears. Now if this will be put into consideration, it is actually an alarming figure for we are talking and listening to lots of different people on a daily basis. If you are only able to hear just 50 percent of what the other person told you, then it limits your ability to respond effectively.
You should never disregard the importance of improving your active listening skills especially if your job performance is important to you or more so, want to maintain healthy relationship among others.
You will be able to uncover three ways to become an active listener in the next paragraphs.
Number 1. Practice – in relation to this, it’ll involve self discipline but the payoff will surely be massive. In your next conversation, you must make a concerted effort of not only hearing words to be spoken but also, listen to the message that you’re told.
To make everything a lot easier to understand, try to block things that are going on around you. Many of us can be distracted very easily and that’s a fact. Whether we are looking at photos in someone’s cubicle or office or there are other conversations going around us, it is so easy to lose focus on the conversation we have at hand. To become an active listener, always remember that focus is crucial.
Number 2. Be engaged physically in what the speaker says – yes we know that it’s critical to have eye contact but don’t forget the importance of facial expression too. Nodding every now and then is smart and you must inform the speaker that you’ve understand everything they have said. Smiling on times you think it is appropriate during conversation can help speakers know that you’re really listening. To make it simpler, give some feedback to the speaker.
Number 3. Defer judgment on what is being said – consider doing this until you’ve totally understood the context of message. Perhaps, using the correct terms or words aren’t used but allow the speaker to finish talking. You have to put personal opinions aside for a while and absorb as much info as you could. You need to know that editorializing and constantly interrupting are conversation killers which you should avoid at all cost.
Active listening skill is something that takes practice and you won’t get it overnight so don’t rush things if you feel that you’re not making any progress.