Listening is an important part of a conversation because if one is not a good listener and interrupts the other person while talking repeatedly, then there can be a breakdown of communication. It is also very rude to not let the other person speak and to assume things and reply even before the person has finished making his point.
Very often, there can be a lot of misunderstandings only due to the fact that some people are not good listeners and hence it is very important that one develops the skills of good listening along with good speaking skills.
He must know when to keep quiet, when to reply and how to form his thoughts so that he can speak well later. Here are a few points one can apply in order to improve his skills of being a good listener:
There may be times when you lose interest in what the person is saying, or you find it annoying. But just because you are not enjoying what he is saying does not mean that you interrupt him and change the topic. Be patient and let him finish his point and once he is done speaking you can express you agreement or disagreement with what he is speaking about.
The most important part of listening is empathy and most people who are not good listeners lack empathy, that is, their ability to feel for the other person or what he has gone through. Put yourself in his shoes and look at the problem from his perspective and it will give you more insight into what he trying to say.
It is very rude if someone is not paying attention to you when you are speaking. Hence remove all distractions like cell phones, computers or TV and put your attention to the conversation, especially if it is something serious. That way you will also understand what the person is saying better because you are so focused.
Don’t speak when the other person is talking and try to maintain silence even if you feel that there is something that you really need to say. Wait for the person to speak and resist your impulsive thoughts but remember your points so that you can say them when he is done speaking
Your body language also shows whether you are interested in listening to the speaker or not. It is important to maintain eye contact while listening.