We have two ears and one mouth
so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Have you ever zoned out when a friend is ranting about her relationship challenges, or sharing his life events from the moment he was born? Well, if we’re honest, all of us have.
Being a good listener is hard because as humans, most of us have an attention span of eight seconds. Moreover, so many other things are competing for our attention! And listening often requires a little more effort than simply nodding your head.
Being a good listener isn’t about staying silent. It’s about actively listening, and being a friend.
Here is how you can be a good listener.
Never interrupt (especially to talk about yourself!)
The key to becoming a good listener is to always let the speaker finish what he is saying. An unnecessary interruption makes the speaker feel distracted, undermined, and un-valued.
Strive to have a 2:1 ratio of listening to talking.
Be present in the situation
A person who needs to be good at listening has to put everything down and focus on the person speaking in front of them.
Being present and mindful during the conversation is an important characteristic of a good listener.
Don’t change the subject
Whenever you are engaged in the conversation, don’t try to change the subject until the discussion is finished.
Whether it is a social encounter, or a one on one conversation, if you try to change the subject; it will demonstrate your lack of interest in the situation.
Sympathise, empathise and show your interest
You can always show interest in the conversation through your body language, expression, and words. Nod in agreement to show that you are engaged. Offer some words of affirmation or simply smile to show concern appropriately.
These subtle gestures speak volumes about your level of engagement with the speaker.
Learn to be comfortable with silence
Sometimes, a verbal response isn’t always necessary. Don’t try to fill in; this space of silence invites the speaker to offer more of what they are feeling or thinking.
Well, you have seen that becoming a good listener is a skill that you must practice. It is easy to spin off in your world of ideas and words but, it takes real effort to listen to become more of a listener than a talker.
What do you do to become a good listener? Let us know in the comments section below.
Featured Image Credit: Pexels
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