Friday, November 25, 2011

How to Be A Good Listener

This is dedicated to someone special in my life who never fails to be a good listener….too good sometimes that I have to aggressively encourage (The word force would sound the person to talk and share!. It’s also a reminder to myself to learn and improve at being a better listener. I am sure for those who talk a lot, they have had their days where they wished they had just shut up and listened….and for the Silent ones…they have had days too where they wished they had just been more vocal about their thoughts and feelings. Though listening is important, there has to be a Balance too. Imagine someone who just listens and listens yet does not interact or talk enough or not at all even....that can be so frustrating and one would start wondering if the person actually bothered or wanted to know anything at all. Listening comes natural to some people. To most, Listening has to be learnt and improved on. To be a good listener, one has to be caring enough and have a genuine interest in what the other person has to say or share. I personally feel that being a good listener also means being trust worthy and loyal to keep private anything that is confided in and also to be able to give the other person something so precious…and that is our TIME. Good listening helps to bond and build good relationships and good friends!

Tips on How to be Good Listener :
  • EYES on the Speaker, EARS listening carefully - Listen with your eyes and ears; pay attention to what the person is saying.
  • MOUTH silent. - do not interrupt.
  • SIT Quietly - HANDS to yourself, FEET still.
  • THINK about what is being said, what does it mean to you?
  • ASK questions when you do not understand.
  • WAIT for your turn to speak.
  • Take NOTES if it is in a class/lecture/workshop/meeting.

Quotes :

"The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words." ~ Rachel N.  

Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble. 
~Frank Tyger. 

"Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak." ~Epictetus

We have to be taught to listen. - by Angela Salevouris
Listening does not come natural like hearing does. It requires our focus, attention, and the want to understand what someone is trying to tell us. Effective listening is something we need to practice to become good at. Hearing and Listening are two completely different processes. Hearing simply involves the perception of sound. One of the biggest barriers to effective communication is hearing without listening. I am sure that many of us have sat through a class or a meeting where we heard everything that was being said but didn't actually listen. When it was all over we had no idea what was really said.  Listening involves making meaning of what another person is saying, it is important to remember that everyone will interpret a spoken message slightly different. Through our own experiences, alliances, and biases we all will all take a slightly different meaning from the exact same message. It is important to remember that what we take out of a message may not be what everyone else heard or even exactly what the speaker was trying to convey. °°° 

Be a better listener for your friends by BloggersBase
Be fully aware of the other person paying attention to their words and their body language without "zoning out." The active listener is listening attentively and trying to clarify and commit to short term memory the key points being expressed.  °°°
  •  Clarify – If you don't understand what has been said it is necessary to check by asking for clarification.
  • Minimal "encouragers" – These are the nods and "mmmm" noises that one makes when chatting with people to let them know one is listening.
  • Reflecting – From time to time reflect back the important facts or feelings.
  • Challenging – This skill can be used when there is a mismatch between what the person is saying and their bodylanguage, e.g. somebody says they are really happy, but they actually look miserable. Challenging is also used when people are saying things that are contradictory. It is a skill that is used with respect – it is not the same as criticism.
  • Good body language – Leaning slightly towards the other party can indicate that they are being listened to – just as looking away or glancing at one's watch would tell them that one isn't actually there for them. (this also means not playing with your phone while someone is talking)
  • Be open and non judgmental - this encourages people to feel free to say whatever they need to without fearing an adverse reaction.

Reading :

The Good Listener  by  James E. Sullivan


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