â€œMost of the successful people Iâ€™ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.â€
â€“ Bernard M Baruch (American Economist and adviser to the US Presidents, 1870-1965)
Real/Active/Effective listening is a process that has three basic steps. They are Hearing, Understanding and Judging. This means while listening our mind pays attention to what is being said, interprets the meaning of it and assimilates the knowledge to gather and judge what is being communicated to us.
Yes, it takes a lot to be good listener. Listening is an art and a necessary skill to climb the ladder of success. AÂ can be construed as good human being too.
If you are in an office you need to listen to your boss, your colleagues and your senior colleagues. All have their point of view and best listening is listening to what is being said rather than what you yourself want to hear.
Here are a few tips to help you listen better:
Look into their eyes when they are speaking – When someone is talking to you keep your gaze fixed on him/her. If you avert your eyes when the other person is speaking, it shows you are not interested in the speaker.
Maintain eye contact with the speaker and observe his/her body language and mannerisms, when they speak. The body language along with the words said conveys more to you than just hearing the words spoken.
Give them your total attention- Making the speaker feel he/she is the best speaker in the world by giving your total attention, is the most revered feeling that a listener can gift to the speaker.
By giving the speaker your undivided attention, you are telling the other person that you are genuinely interested in what is being said to you.
Do NOT interrupt â€“ Asking questions to the speaker may be construed as showing interest, but asking too many by interrupting the speaker, is like insulting him/her.
Never ever interrupt by asking too may questions. If you feel the need to know more about a certain point, do so by subtly asking the speaker to explain the point in detail.
But first let the speaker finish making his point, take a cue from the pause and subtly ask him/her to explain the point a bit more.
Do not fidget â€“ Just as the speakers body language gives your subtle communications, so does your body language. Fidgeting is a sure way of conveying to the speaker that his/her talk is boring or monotonous.
So maintain a body language that conveys you are genuinely interested, like, maintaining eye contact, leaning closer or nodding encouragingly gives the speaker the hints that his/her points have been well received.
Analyze the mood of the speaker and show that you are interested â€“ If you are able to analyze the mood of the speaker, you are very likely to empathise with him/her on the topic they speak.
Put yourself in that position and ask if you were to be treated the way he/she is being treated. This will surely peak your interest and find you participating in a conversation with the speaker.
“We were given two ears but only one mouth, because listening is twice as hard as talking.” Let us make effective use of our ears by doing what they are made best to do.