Improve your Listening Skills, See how to
Are you sometimes tuning out when someone is speaking to you or even trying to formulate your thought? Well stay tuned because in this article I’m going to share with you how you can improve your listening skills to get your points across. Now, if you want to learn some tips on how to improve your listening skills, let’s get it to it.
Understand why you need to listen.
If you’re going to build genuine relationships in the working environment or really even personally as well, it is so important to have great listening skills. Listening allows you to take in the other person’s content, also allows you to disseminate that information and properly respond back.
Listening is part of good communication. You have two ears and one mouth and what does that mean? It means we’re supposed to listen more than we are to speak.
So really having good listening skills is going to help your relationships professionall, because you’re going to be listening, gathering insights, which is going to allow you to collect your information properly to give a proper comeback. Prepare yourself to listen.
First of all, get rid of any external distractions. Namely this lovely phone, put it all on silent, so it’s not going to interrupt. Maybe even put it away.
If you have a door to your office, consider closing it and putting up a power hour so that people know you are not to be disturbed. With that you can so that you can listen attentively. The worst is when you’re having a conversation with someone, whether it’s in person in or it’s virtual and someone walks into your office asking you stuff like, what’s up bro?, Can I have your pen? ,and the likes. So ensure that you remove distractions around you.
Now another distraction to consider is something that is more internal distractions. Do you have to go to the washroom? Are you hungry? Is your stomach growling? Mine is, by the way, in case you heard it, I’m just starving right now. So that’s making it difficult for me to concentrate because I’m thinking about food. Can’t wait to finish this article so I can eat Lsomething. No, no, no, no, seriously. Those are what I mean. Its those internal distractions and worse yet, when you have to go to the washroom, you know how hard it’s to pay attention? So just remove those distractions externally and internally, it’s really going to help you prepare yourself to listen.
Check your body language.
You know what they say is that most language comes through when we’re speaking in our body, that interpretation versus necessarily our words. So it’s really important to see what is my body doing? Am I head on looking at you, facing you with open body language or am I closed off? I do talk about this in other articles, the importance of communication. So this is just a reiteration of that and that part of that is that body language. So really about how your body, what message is it giving? Are your hands in your back pockets? Are they in your front pockets?
Now, how do you do this virtually? Because I’m on calls where sometimes people don’t have their video on and then it’s really hard for me to understand their body language. And I get so much more information from watching them listening to something that I’m saying, are they agreeing with it? Not agreeing with it. I get more information that way than I do.
So virtually have your camera on. That’s just going to ensure that you have really good communication and help with listening.
Ask questions to clarify.
So if you’re already trying to prepare your response when someone is talking, you are so not listening. So the key is, ask clarifying questions of what the person just said. So that really shows that A, you’re listening and it’s going to get confirmation for you that you actually listened and interpreted the right thing. So how do you do this?
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You’re speaking to John. John is talking, and when he’s done speaking, because you’re going to allow him to finish, because you’ve been listening, you’re not jumping in with your retort. So you say, “John, I just want to clarify that I understood what you said and that I’m on the same page with you.
So you summarize what he discussed. Did I interpret that correctly?” And he’s going to say, “Yeah, you did.” And how cool is that? And there have been times I’ve done that and someone said, “No, actually that is not what I meant.”
Whoa, which kind of surprised me because at the time when they said no, I was like, “Really? I really thought you meant what I just said, A B C D.” So that becomes really helpful because it then gives you the clarity you need in order to move on to the next item of business or whatever it is. So that is really, really important is ask those clarifying questions.
I feel like that is really heavy. Well, it is because if you’re judging what someone else is saying, as you’re listening to them, you’re actually not listening. You’re judging what they’re saying. Here’s the thing everybody has a different perspective. I may not agree with your perspective or I may want your perspective to go in a different direction. Particularly if I have an agenda, like a project item and I don’t want to do something and I want you to go in a different way, but I need to listen.
I need to understand your argument. I need to understand where you’re coming from so I can properly give the right retort. And if I’m judging you based on what you’re saying, like, oh, they don’t know anything. I can’t believe they’re even offering this suggestion. You’re not listening.
So how can you properly get the information you need in order to bring it to where you’re hoping it will go that’s beneficial for everybody. So limit that. Understand people have a perspective, there’s back stories to everything. You don’t know the backstory to everybody’s personal life, professional life, a reason why something was done. Yeah, you may not agree with it for the one sentence that’s said, but there could be a huge backstory behind it.
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Don’t judge it. Listen, ask clarifying questions to get even more information. It becomes really important. So that’s going to help you tremendously when it comes to improving your listening skills. So far, we have discussed how to improve your listening skills.