Improve Your Active Listening Skills
In today’s modern, high-tech, stress filled world, genuine learning has become a rare gift. Listening is a reciprocal process, it is an active engagement to accurately receive and interpret message in the communication process. Communication is more important than ever but we devote less time to listen to the other person’s point of view.
An effective listener can be the problem solver and a effective listening needs a active engagement with the message of the speaker. Active engagement is a skill which needs more of patience, complete involvement and conveying interest by both verbal and non-verbal message to the speaker.The techniques To know how to listen to someone else, think about how you want to be listened to.Follow are some keys to listen well
Decide to listen. Remove the preconceived idea about the speaker from the mind. Give them a chance to surprise you and surprise them with a open mind. Maintain a proper eye contact, by doing so you show some interest to the speaker’s message. Minimize external and internal distraction; make up your mind to not make assumptions about what the speaker is thinking. Remember the saying about having two ears and one mouth, what so ever it may be start with a decision to listen.
Some have trouble concentrating on what the person is saying. There are others, who think they listen to the speakers, but actually they stay out of the zone, thinking of all things they need to do that day. Focus needs a lot of attention to the speaker, keeping aside all the other activities shut down. By focusing, the message gets retained in the brain for a longer term. To understand, interpret, retain and respond, you need to “focus” into the message.
The information gathered in the listening process gets retained in the memory. Each human has different memory power. To retain all the information in memory you need to have a steady focus. Retention is lessened when we engage in mindless listening. To get the information impressed in the memory, you need to clearly understand and accept the concept. Be sensitive to the concept.Only by retention you can recollect and recognize the information later.
We can measure the listener’s “understanding” of what the speaker is saying by both verbal and non-verbal responses. Non-verbally you can respond by nodding, smiling, comment to the speaker’s message. By responding you develop an interest to the conversation. When you’re willing to respond and communicate to the speaker, it makes the speaker respectful and also it helps them to really get through to you and will not have to repeat what they said.
Common barriers of listening
In order to become an effective listener, you should be aware of these barriers, many of which are bad habits. When you find yourself getting distracted with either internal or external noise, pay attention by being mindful. Here you can find about some barriers to effective listening and get tips for dealing with them.
When the listener is distracted they may suddenly think of their own personal matter that is completely not related to the speaker’s message. Day dreaming is a common barrier that most of the listeners face, when listeners hear something that sets off a chain of unrelated thoughts in their head, they get distracted by their “own world”.. When listening, try to listen to understand what is being said rather than just listening to the words. You have to discipline your mind to listen to the message and put any other distraction aside.
This usually happens when you’re bored of a topic or when you developed a kind of hesitation towards the speaker. At times it happens when your attention is scattered on television or radio or being on phone to another person. Dis-interest gets developed when your mind is pre-occupied with your own likes and dislikes.
To overcome dis-interest you need to create an interest on the subject. The speaker may convey the message you have already come across but try to find new beneficial information out of it, figure out something better than before, by doing so, you may get clear understanding of the subject which was unclear to you before.
7. Predetermined attitude
Most of the listeners has this attitude of predetermination. People attribute ideas, motivations, thoughts &intention that the speaker might not have, this may lead to a lot of misunderstanding. When you assume what the speaker is going to say, you may create a wrong idea about the speaker’s message; attention and patience pays off in this conversation. When you are so preoccupied with your attitude and assumption, you cannot listen to the speaker carefully and you may fail to receive the true essence of the matter.
Prejudice is a preconceived thought about a person, it is an unfavorable judgment towards people because of gender, social class, age, religion, qualification, cast, nationality, and economical status etc., prejudice people cannot accept and receive the message in aright manner. It breaks the team spirit and a prejudice person cannot make any effort to listen and understand. Prejudice thought can only overcome by keeping the mind open to receive the truth, it is a dangerous barrier which everyone has to break to get expose to the truth.
Active listening- more than just hearing
Listening is completely different from hearing. You need to be more attentive when you’re listening. For except those who are deaf, everyone can hear but, listening is dealt with your mind. It happens only when you pay attention and have focus on the message. Listening is a creative force, it built and creates things that is left uncreated and unbuilt and it is more than just hearing. Effective listening is an active involvement, it is a skill that built all positive human-relationships.
Spend time thinking about developing and working on your listening skill. Every good conversation starts with good listening. Be agood listener, when you listen your wisdom gets unfold and expand. Super achievers are active listeners, they are the building block of success.