3 Time Tested Useful Tips For Effective Listening
Effective listening is one of the most desired skills that all organizations urge their employees to attain. Listening is an ability that is taken for granted, and often erroneously interchanged with hearing. Effective listening can be quite challenging since it requires the listener to focus on what is being said, rather than thinking of what they need to say in return. Once this has been achieved, it automatically leads to the improvement of personal and workplace communication skills. In the workplace, it in turn improves productivity through a quicker turnaround time and consistency of delivery.
Listening is often perceived as hard work. But the truth is that with a little effort and hard work, effective listening can be achieved. Those looking at improving their listening skills can start by keeping in mind the following three tips:
1. Make the other person aware that you are actively listening
While the other person speaks, it is important that you maintain good eye contact and your body language indicates that you are indeed listening. When this is coupled with active listening skills, it becomes the ingredient for effective listening.
Active listening is wherein you put aside the belief that listening is easy, and you actively indulge in listening to what the other person has to say. It is characterized by occasional questioning of an open ended nature. It also involves regularly using verbal or non verbal acknowledgements stating that you have understood what is being said.
2. Always keep an open mind and refrain from forming conclusions
Try to completely focus upon what is being said, rather than forming a reply in your mind while the speaker communicates. You will be able to achieve a logical flow of thoughts only if you don't interrupt the speaker. By allowing them to complete what they have to say, they have a chance to express their thoughts and ideas clearly.
You should keep an open mind and not form conclusions before the speaker has completed. By waiting for the speaker to complete what he/she wants to say before you disagree - you have more time to weigh facts and make an informed reply.
3. Strive to minimize distractions
One of the best ways of effective listening is to always strive to minimize distractions before the speaker commences. Many times, it is the speaker who takes the effort to do this before commencing. If listeners involve themselves in this chore, it not only eliminates distraction but also signals to the speaker that you (as a listener) are receptive and ready to listen.
Lastly, do not feel uncomfortable with the silence that exists within a conversation. Use these brief moments to paraphrase what had been said. By meticulously putting in hard work and effort into improving listening skills, workplace communication and interpersonal communication can be improved drastically.