How do I become a good listener?

You want something to get of your chest, you have amazing news you want to share or you just want to share your thoughts. This can occur in different situations and relations.
All these situations will be ideal when there are listeners involved. Otherwise, what is the point of having a dialog.

Listening really is a social skill with varied levels of development.
I try to be an active listener because personally I think with this skill you give another person the feeling to actually be heard and equal.
And isn't that the goal of being a listener? That the speaker is heard and understood?


What I've seen with other people, which I think that are don'ts when becoming an active listener, are a few actions that I will sum up.

don'ts

Interrupting 

This one is my pitfall. I can become very excited when I think I understand someone and I want to acknowledge them immediately.

Not making any eye contact

Trying to outdo the speaker 

With "That reminds me off.." or "That's nothing, you should hear this.." They refer the conversation to oneself.

Rushing the speaker to come to the point 

That will make it seem like your time is being wasted.

Show interest in something else 

Oh yeah, smartphones ;)

Saying "yes, but.." 

This is another way of saying that what the speaker just said is invalid.

'some people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.'

So it is kinda important to be SILENT(LISTEN) with a well placed "uhuh" or "hmm" now and then.

Another thing that I rarely see or experience in conversations is asking questions and reflect.
This is such a good way to show sincere interest and give that person the well deserved attention.
This can also  lead to insight for the speaker when they are coping with some struggles or questions themselves.
You let them keep the lead in the conversation which gives them space to tell their story.

'if you want to be interesting, be interested.'


'when you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.' - Dalai Lama 

Why am I making myself so aware of this?
Because I know towards what type of conversations active listening can lead. And those are anything but boring.
It will also bond and connect two people even more. These conversations are endless and priceless.

That is why I will always keep developing in being an active listener.


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