Often people don’t think about their listening habits; to them, being quiet is sufficient enough. Indeed, when we get down to the nitty and gritty, it seems knowing how to listen doesn’t matter much at all. What matters is being able to talk, to rant, to vent, to describe, to fill in, to say everything. That’s understandable, humans are social creatures, and one of those social aspects is being able to explain our world. But this isn’t a winning habit. Where we all seem to fall short is where we draw this line. The line being, am I listening effectively, does the speaker feel engaged, and when is my turn to speak. And frankly, being quiet doesn’t do enough.
How To Listen by Asking 3 Questions
Are You Listening or Just Being Quiet?
This is where we run into our first BIG trait blocking how to listen. Are you listening or just being quiet? Is there a difference? Absolutely! In both you’re quiet, but in one scenario you’re glued to the speaker’s words. You might be invested with their story, or how they’re telling it. This is attentive listening or as I mention later active listening. However, in the other example, you’re only quiet. You’re not attached to what they have to say. You’re waiting, ready to pounce with your idea or your thought. Although, our story is the most interesting to us, is that true for everyone else?
For more on this, read Are You Listening, or Just Waiting to Talk? by Psychology Today!
Delete Your Thought! Sort of…
Now in this example, you’re waiting for the turn to speak. Do not, I repeat DO NOT hold what you want to say until they’re finished. That is not a conversation! If what you truly desire is to be heard, the best way to get there is by being a better listener. Learning how to listen is less about the speaking aspect and more about being patient. So, remove that thought, wait for them, and respond to them. Is it obvious? Maybe, is it in practice? Not always.
Does the Speaker Feel Invested?
If you effectively deleted your thoughts (or tried), then you’re ready to listen. But hold on, this isn’t a one-person show, in this tango you need to express your interest to the other party. Otherwise, you’re not encouraging them to talk, and all is for naught. Encouraging? Yes! It is your responsibility as an attentive audience to pay attention and promote them to speak! How do we…? How could we encourage someone to talk?
Be Patient, Be Mindful
Listening is an art, mastering it is difficult. But that’s okay! Even incorporating the basics and soon people will regard you
You Can Speak! What Do You Say?
Finally right? This is the part most people are excited about! The other person has gotten out all that they wanted to say (for the time being), and if you kept true to the previous traits, then they felt heard! But, all of this only half of how to listen. Now comes the harder half, responding. You’ve just sat through what felt like three minutes of someone else’s monologue. Boring or interesting, completely up to you. Regardless, you’re deservedly drained, but, you’ve hopefully conveyed your interest. If you wanted them to feel invested and are ready to show off your newfound skills, now is the time to shine.
Build Your Reply Off THEM
Granted, so far you’ve been perceived as a great listener — someone who, patiently waited through someone’s speech with impressive attention. Now you have your chance to take the floor, how do you reply? Learning how to listen is recognizing that your response should be based upon theirs. Instead of spewing your version, this is when you can show your attention to detail and answer their story.
Want to Read More?
Click here for buying details on The Lost Art of Listening and subscribe for more great posts about personal development books! Or even, give this Forbes article a read for more on how to effectively listen!
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First Blogger at Domincusation.com