First, let us first define listening. Listening is obtaining language by the way of the ears, and it requires pointing to the sounds of speech and refining them into words and sentences. Listening is one of the most important life skills you can have.
We spend a lot of time listening to other people but rarely do we consider what we are listening to. It is important to listen to other people, understand their words, and maintain eye contact. It is important to listen to yourself as well, to understand what you’re saying and why. For example, if you find yourself saying, “I’m not capable of doing something,” listen to yourself and find out what you’re truly saying. Are you saying that you can’t do it, or are you saying that you know you should be doing it?
For most of us, good listening is hard to do. It can seem rude to interrupt another person, or it may be even harder to have to listen to someone complain about how hard their day was. Yet, for some people, being a good listener is a sign of compassion – it means that you are willing to listen to others’ problems and are therefore empathetic towards other people. Good listening is also a useful skill for a professional. If you’re an employer, then good listening skills (among other things) could help you analyze your employees for gaps in skill and take action accordingly. Because upskilling your team has specific benefits, being a good listener can really pay off. It also helps you deal with clients, understand their needs, and give them exactly what they want.
Listening is an underrated skill. It’s easy to be so busy thinking about what to say next that you miss the meaning of what the other person is saying. This can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, or even arguments. So, how can you become a better listener?
- Let them finish before you talk
You could work in a job that requires you to listen to people, but chances are you probably listen to people on a daily basis. From your friends to your relatives, everyone has something to say. So, listen to them, but don’t let them finish before you say what you want to say. You may be waiting for the perfect moment to make your point, but people don’t like to be interrupted. So, let them finish and let them know you’re listening.
- Be attentive
Being a good listener is key to maintaining good relationships and has many positive impacts on your life. Listening attentively means hearing the other person’s point of view. It means understanding what the speaker is trying to say. It means not trying to correct what the speaker says. It means giving others the gift of their words and letting them express themselves in their own way.
- Raise questions
There are two sides to every story. That’s why it’s important to ask questions whenever there’s a chance to learn something new. The best way to learn something new is to ask great questions, and one of the best ways to be a better listener is to ask questions first.
- Repeat what you heard
Repeat what you heard as often as you can, and you will come to understand what the other person has said. But the only one who will think you understand them is yourself. Most people never listen because they do not want to hear what they say. But those who persist in repeating what they hear are the ones who learn to listen more closely.
- Quieting down your mind
The concept is simple enough: quiet your mind, and you’ll find your thoughts and feelings will calm down. It’s kind of like creating a shortcut to your heart, where all the good stuff goes and takes time to listen.
- Listening equals learning
Most people find it difficult to be a good listener. We either have too much to say, or we have too much to listen to, and we rush through our conversations to get to the next important thing to say or do. But listening is a skill that can be learned, and it can make you a better person.
There’s no better way to learn how to listen than to listen. When you learn how to listen, you become better at listening. When you become better at listening, you become a better listener. When you become a better listener, you become a better person. When you become a better person, you become a better friend, spouse, daughter, son, boss, teammate, teacher, and so on.
Many people struggle with the art of listening. Usually, a lot of people think that as long as we are talking, we are listening. But the truth is that not all of us are great listeners. Being a good listener is an important skill that can make a huge difference to your personal and professional development. It can help you manage your stress and anxiety and improve your relationships with others.