Being a good listener can take some practice. There’s a reason why most conversations go nowhere – we tend to talk too much. The following tips can help you be a better listener and improve your communication skills.
STEP 1: Listen For the Right Reasons
It’s not enough to listen for the sake of listening. You need to listen to learn. This means you’re listening to understand and absorb information, rather than merely hearing the words of others.
The trick to becoming a good listener is to make sure that you’re listening to the right things. If you want to understand someone’s feelings, you have to listen carefully. If you want to understand someone’s goals, you need to listen for their intentions.
STEP 2: Don’t Talk Too Much
In addition to being a good listener, you also need to be a good listener. It can be tempting to fill up the silence with your own thoughts, but if you don’t contribute anything then your listener won’t feel heard.
A good listener doesn’t necessarily mean a silent listener. A good listener is open to hearing what the other person has to say.
STEP 3: Give Nonverbal Signals
The nonverbal signals you give can affect your listener’s ability to feel comfortable and relaxed in the conversation. When you hold eye contact with someone, they feel safe and secure. When you nod your head, they feel understood. When you smile, they feel appreciated.
When you hold eye contact, smile, nod your head, and look interested, you send a powerful message that you’re a friendly and approachable person.
Thanks for reading!