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Listening best practices

Top Ten Tips to Become a Better Listener

| Laurie Brown | ,

Being a good listener is important for several reasons. When we listen actively and attentively to others, we show that we value their thoughts and ideas. This can help to build trust and strengthen our relationships with others. Good listening skills can also help us better understand others and their perspectives, leading to more effective communication and collaboration. Additionally, being a good listener can help us to learn and grow, as we can gain new insights and knowledge from others. It can also help us to resolve conflicts and problems more effectively, as we can fully understand the other person's perspective before responding.

Overall, being a good listener can positively impact our personal and professional relationships and help us be more successful in life.

Here are the top ten ways to become a better listener.

  1. Pay attention: To truly listen to someone, you need to focus on what they are saying and not get distracted by other things. Put away your phone and give the person your full attention.
  2. Avoid interrupting: It can be hard to jump in with your thoughts or opinions but try to resist the urge. Let the person finish speaking before you respond.
  3. Clarify: If you're not sure you understand what someone is saying, don't be afraid to ask questions. Clarifying will not only help you better understand what they are trying to say, but it will also show that you are actively engaged in the conversation.
  4. Practice empathy: Try to see things from the other person's perspective and imagine how you would feel in their situation. This will help you better understand their feelings and respond more thoughtfully.
  5. Don't multitask: It's almost impossible to give someone your full attention if you're trying to do something else simultaneously. If you're having a conversation, focus on that and nothing else.
  6. Be open-minded: It's important to keep an open mind and not jump to conclusions when listening to someone. Be willing to consider their perspective, even if it differs from yours.
  7. Don't judge: It's natural to have opinions and beliefs, but try to set them aside when listening to someone. Avoid judging or criticizing what they are saying, and instead focus on understanding their point of view.
  8. Practice active listening: In addition to paying attention and not interrupting, active listening involves making eye contact, nodding, and providing verbal cues like "uh-huh" to show that you are listening.
  9. Reflect: One way to show that you are really listening is to reflect back on what the person has said. This helps confirm that you understood them correctly and lets them know that you were paying attention.
  10. Take breaks: If you're having a long or intense conversation, it can be helpful to take a break every so often. This allows you to process what you've heard and helps you stay focused for the rest of the conversation.

By following these tips, you can become a more attentive and thoughtful listener, which can lead to deeper and more meaningful conversations with others.

If you would like to learn more about how to improve your communication, click here.