Effective listening skills for good communication
The power of effective listening – is an excellent and rather rare technique. It defines as the ability to hear another person, not hearing your thoughts while he is talking. And the capacity to listen in such way so that to encourage the speaker telling you more and with more excitement. Effective listening helps to set up a contact with a person, arrange him, and change his opinion if needed.
The ability of listening – is one of the signs the kid is ready to go to school. When this skill is not formed the child is asking a question and runs away without listening to the answer: interrupts the speaker or switches to other activity while someone is talking. Habits that form listening skill: a kid is looking at a person who is talking without interrupting, tries to understand what has been said, says “yes,” nods his head and can ask questions for better understanding. Seems that many grown-ups do not always follow these requirements…
Hardly any universal formula to improving listening skills exists now, preferable listening style is defined by the psychological type of the
speaker and different situations require different behavior. Listening in the workplace is mainly a fixation of the information and repeat of main meaningful points. Personal listening is more diverse. Sometimes it is a mutual support with the reflection of the feelings, at times is a live entertainment of talking people with the exchange of bright emotions, jokes and friendly teases.
Pay attention to the speech of others
Out of all types of listening, the most critical moment is attention to the interlocutor and attention to what he is saying. It appears the ability to listen with understanding the thoughts and feelings of another person is more important than the skill of bright and exciting speech. If you kept silence during the conversation, only solemnly asking some target questions and sometimes repeated thoughts of the speaker, most likely he will be satisfied with this conversation with you.
Is it good to talk about yourself while listening to others? – Better to ask questions about them: their interests and preferences. Talking about yourself is also ok but mainly to make others talk.
Adjust to the speaker
Second by importance technique of good listening is a skill of adjusting to the speaker. Copying his gestures, face and eyes expressions, vocabulary, values and breathing – it creates the impression of the “family” and improves a contact during interpersonal communication. The ability and habit of understanding others automatically create all necessary bounds between you. It also gives you an advantage of feeling what other person feels. You will know what you can say and what would not be appropriate at this particular moment.
Speaking about eye contact, it is better how but not how much. Many people avoid looking into other people’s face during a conversation, others may criticize or give negative comments. So try looking into eyes of others in the friendly and supportive way.
To gain a reputation of the decent interlocutor avoid usage of conflict words in your speech. Categorical negative comments and objections, reproaches and charges, complaints and excuses are obstacles to the effective conversation. On the other hand, mastered skill of “Total Yes” will make your listening pleasant and productive at the same time. Another person would be sure you hear and understand him, while in reality, you could listen only to a plot of what the speaker wanted to say.
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Experienced listeners repeat main thoughts in mind while listening to others. This technique is known as a personal or internal translator helping speakers hear each other better and arrange their views.
A helpful hint – use signs of listening: nodding, “yep”, pop-eyes as a sign of amusement to interesting or important moments in speech, reflection of his feelings and paraphrase of the meaning.
It doesn’t matter with which technique you are going to improve your listening skills as all you will learn will be really useful. However, to practice listening in the workplace first task is to master no-reflexive listening, when you get to reflect and understand others with minimal external effort. Next step after mastering non-reflexive listening is a practice of active listening, where listening is turning into the interactive dialog. Active listening in masculine type oriented to mind and logics is called reflexive listening. Active listening in a feminine type is the adaptation to feelings and relationships from heart to heart is defined as empathic listening.