THE ART OF LISTENING: HOW TO BE A BETTER LISTENER

Are you an active listener if not here are a few tips to help improve your skills

We have all heard from someone in our lives,” Did you hear me” or “are you even listening to me” these phrases have spewed from our own very mouths. But, Steven Covey said it best, “most people don’t listen with the intent to understand.”

Human beings all talk, but how many of us listen? When I say “listen,” I mean listen with our full attention. 

In a world that is so fast-paced, it can sometimes be difficult to give our undivided attention to those that need it. Distractions are everywhere. Our personal lives may distract us from our career lives, and vice versa. 

Listening is incredibly important to be mindful of, especially when it comes to discussing the more serious matter. When a friend comes to you needing a shoulder to cry on, and you provide that as well as two wide-open ears, it can make a world of a difference in their day. 

It is a very nurturing feeling to feel like you’re being heard. Whether advice or input on a situation is desired or not, sometimes it just feels good to talk to someone and know that they’re listening. 

It’s common for women in their forties to feel as if they have a lot on their plate, and venting to their girlfriends can be a good form of therapy. Listening is an art and it’s never a bad idea to practice it. Here are ways to become a better listener. 

Take a few deep breaths

If you, too, had a rough day and someone in your life comes to you wanting to vent, it might be a good idea to calm down a bit first.

Do your best to clear your mind. Practice some breathing exercises, pace around, or do some light stretching. The more relaxed you are, the better you will be able to give your attention.

Remember basic body language

Nothing says “I don’t care what you have to say” more than avoiding eye contact. If someone is speaking to you and you aren’t looking at them, it speaks volumes.

Another great body language practice to remember is to angle your body towards the person when they are speaking. Facing them and closing the space a bit will make them feel more connected to you.

Be attentive

It is easy to get side-tracked, but it’s important to do your best not to. Remember, the people to whom you are speaking will appreciate your undivided attention, which brings me to my next point.

Eliminate distractions

Especially phones! It’s so irritating when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone and they won’t look up from their phone. Whatever you’re scrolling through, it can wait. Facebook and your emails will still be there after the conversation is over.

Some other distractions may include TV or music. It’s best to turn off the TV and turn the music down to a quieter volume, or completely off. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to ask the other person whether or not they prefer any background noise.

Do your best to offer a comfortable environment

This one snowballs a bit on top of number 4. If the resources are available, you can offer a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of water.

You could also ask them if they would like to go talk in a different space. For example, if there are other people around, you could ask if they would like to go somewhere more private.

Acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge

This is very important, too. You can acknowledge what the other person is saying by nodding your head, changing your facial expression, or interjecting small expressions such as “yeah” or “of course.”

Acknowledging shows engagement and interest in a conversation and proves that someone is listening to you.

If need be, ask for clarification on any unclear information

Words might be spewed, especially if the person speaking is flustered. In this case, they might be talking very fast or they may gloss over some important details.

To understand their point of view, it is best to ask for clarification if you do not understand something. Even better, this will show the other person that you care about what they are saying.

Ask questions

More specifically, ask open-ended questions! Doing so might help you dig a little deeper into the conversation and understand it better.

Do your best not to be judgmental

Having a conversation about something that you don’t necessarily agree with is inevitable sometimes. However, if a friend comes to you in need of venting about some issues they are having, the last thing they will want to hear is judgmental words when they are trying to be vulnerable.

If you don’t agree with them, that is okay, but do your best to keep any negativity to yourself. Sometimes all someone desires is a listening ear.

Show empathy

Empathetic people are some of the best people to have deep conversations with and they are often great listeners. Phrases such as “I’m here for you” or “I may not be able to fully understand what you’re going through, but I support you,” can go a long way.

Practicing the art of listening allows us to improve relationships with various people in our lives and knowing that you are someone’s confidant is incredibly rewarding.

She Is You
Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about new events, articles, and everything She Is You!
follow me
No Comments

Post A Comment

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Be the first to hear about new events, products and all things She Is You!