How to Become an Efficient Listener

[I:]Effective communication is one of the secrets to success, and once you are good at it, people notice.

A lot of people think that building up communication skills requires developing convincing speech and conversational abilities, but what you may not understand is just how important effective listening can be.

Without an effective listener, none of your conversational abilities would matter. This is due to your points – regardless of how clear – still would not be heard or fully understood.

Remember that listening is a full fifty percent of the conversation effort so it is well worth your time and effort to develop this precious skill, too.

Here are a few techniques you may use to develop your listening skills:

1 . Beat the urge to talk. Sometimes when you’re in a heated discussion, you begin to pay attention to what you’re going to say next. You may even be tempted to open up your mouth before the other person is finished. Make the extra effort to keep your lips sealed until they are through talking.

* While they are talking, don’t worry about what you’re going to say or how you’re going to say it. Instead, concentrate on the words and body language of the other individual.

2 . Look interested. Your nonverbal communication skills are crucial while you’re listening. If you’re looking disinterested and uncaring, the person trying to speak with you will probably pick up on these subtle hints. They may be flustered or less likely to reveal their thoughts. Makes sense, right?

* Engage with the person talking. Make eye contact and nod your head or smile. Let your conversation partner know that their points are coming across to you.

3. Repeat the highlights. One way to literally tell your conversation partner that they’re efficiently conversing is to just restate their ideas. You could repeat key phrases in an affirming tone. You may even provide them a quick overview of what they just said in your own words and phrases.

* Refrain from sharing your opinions when repeating their concepts or ideas. At this moment, you just simply want to convey that you’ve totally understood their meaning.

4. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your discussion partner to elaborate on what they’re saying. If you want further information, then ask for it. The important thing is that you comprehend what they’re trying to get across.

5. Have patience. It is also important to maintain patience, particularly when dealing with people who may be shy or may not have the ability to communicate very well. If you are not patient, you may end the discussion prematurely or scare off your conversation partner.

6. Follow your partner’s lead. Being an effective listener does not mean that your only job is to listen. You can certainly add to the conversation, too. At the same time, you don’t want to overpower the conversation. Add your input when they ask for it or when they have finished their point.

Remember that practice makes perfect. After you have had an important conversation, ask yourself what you remember from the discussion. Write down the details if possible. Did you allow the other person to do most of the talking?

When you fight the urge to dominate conversations, you will be able to really hear what people have to say!

Become a person that understands the ways to be an effective listener, recognizing how to be a good listener as elements for a healthy life.

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