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How to Be a Good Listener

https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-be-a-good-listener-31438

thoughtco.com

How to Be a Good Listener
Listening is a study skill most of us take for granted. Listening is automatic, isn't it? We might think we're listening, but active listening is something entirely different.

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Participate

Participate
  • Nod your understanding and make eye contact with the speaker.
  • Ask clarifying questions.
  • Maintain body language that shows you are interested.
  • Avoid slouching in your chair and looking bored.
  • Take notes, but continue to stay focused on the speaker, looking up often.

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Ignore Distractions

Ignore Distractions
  • Sit up front.
  • Tune out or shush any chatter around you.
  • Face away from windows and turn off your phone to avoid distractions.
  • Identify your prejudices and prevent them from generating an emotional response.

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Keep An Open Mind

Keep An Open Mind
  • Focus on the speaker’s central ideas, ignoring the delivery, the speaker or the emotions and judgments you have on the idea.
  • Give the speaker your full attention.
  • Listen for the significance of the message.

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3 Kinds of Listening

  1. Half listening: when you’re listening to some, but not all that being said for whatever reason.
  2. Sound listening: when you are aware words are being said, but doesn’t properly take in the meaning.
  3. Active listening: when you are fully focused in apprehending the meaning and intent of what’s being said and you communicate that to the speaker.

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3 Keys to Developing Active Listening

Develop active listening by practicing these three skills:

  • Keeping an open mind
  • Ignoring distractions and being fully present
  • Participating and showing interest

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Active listening

Is a technique for developing our ability to listen, to make a conscious effort to understand what people are really saying.

As a communication technique, it is used in many prof...

Core components of Active Listening

  • Comprehending: To communicate, we must first understand what the other person (or people) are actually saying.
  • Retaining: To respond in an appropriate manner, we must understand and retain what the other person has said.
  • Responding: An active response should show that we understand what the other person has said, have paid attention to their words and also read their non-verbal cues.

Improving Active Listening skills

  • Educate yourself on common cognitive biases and shortcuts;
  • Avoid trying to respond immediately. Allow the other person time to finish speaking, then provide a considered response;
  • Minimize conversational narcissism by keeping track of your use of pronouns(I, me);
  • Seek to develop a clear picture of the other person’s logic;

Listening requires mental work

We mistake listening as easy because it looks passive and instinctive, but in reality it’s hard work. Really listening (and not just appearing to listen) re...

Mistakes we make in conversations

Our general tendency is to:
  • Evaluate: We judge what someone is saying and agree or disagree.
  • Probe: We ask questions from our own frame of reference.
  • Advise: We give counsel, advice, and solutions to problems.
  • Interpret: We analyze others' motives and behaviors based on our own experiences.

What makes a great listener

  • Asking great questions;
  • Playing attention to the nonverbal communication;
  • Forgoing taking detailed notes to pay better attention;
  • Listening with the intent to understand, not the intent to respond;
  • Making people feel heard;
  • Following up on what matters.

Listen to Learn, Not to Be Polite

Listen from a place of curiosity, not generosity. True dialogue does not happen when we pretend to listen, and it certainly cannot happen if we are not listening at all.

If you ev...

Quiet Your Agenda

Really listen to what someone else is trying to say.

We need information that is disconfirming, not confirming.

Ask More Questions

Ask more questions than you give answers.

When you ask questions, you create a safe space for other people to give you an unvarnished truth.

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