Good listening skills are the key to effective and positive communication. This makes it important for us to learn how to improve listening skills.
Listening makes the people we care about feel special, appreciated and respected.
In business, good listening skills can prevent misunderstandings and save you money and time. In your marriage, good listening skills can add intimacy. As a parent, good listening skills helps build your children’s self-esteem.
As a mom, I’ve noticed that the older my children get the more important it is to keep improving listening skills. This is crucial to our relationship because when they share anything with me, they don’t want or need me to be judgmental or critical. Sometimes, they don’t even need advice. Just giving them a sounding board is enough.
We probably spend more time listening, but many of us are poor listeners because listening is not easy. Listening takes work. It takes lots of practice and effort.
As a reminder, here are 9 good listening skills to remember
the next time someone wants us to really listen to them:
1. Stop Talking – Be quiet, especially when the other person is very emotional. Your ability to shut up, when appropriate, is crucial.
2. Pick a quiet location that does not distract your attention. Listening is easier when there is less noise.
3. Make It Easy – Show that you are listening. Your body language is important. Lean forward to show interest, look sincere and maintain eye contact. Your body should look attentive.
4. Watch them for visual cues – Pay attention to posture and facial expressions.
5. Do not interrupt – Be patient and give them time to finish.
6. Quiet your mind so you are not distracted by your own thoughts. Don’t allow your emotions to interfere. It’s harder to listen to anyone if your own mind is busy with thoughts about your own problems and issues. Focus on what they are saying. Try not to think of your potential response, instead of listening.
7. Don’t judge, criticize or condemn them. Have an accepting attitude as you listen. Only give advice if you are asked, and only if you really have some to give. Keep your mind open. If the person speaking is complaining about something you did, don’t defend yourself until they are finished.
8. Respond appropriately and ask questions to get clear on what they are saying…only when it is appropriate to do so. Ensure that your questions are empowering and meaningful. Use open-ended questions like “what happened next?” Use encouraging words like, “tell me more”.
9. Don’t talk about your problems or compare how what you’ve been through was worse. Be sure to avoid letting them know how you dealt with a similar situation. Don’t make people feel that their problems are less important than yours.
Most of the good listening skills above are intuitive, but sometimes we need a little reminder. In the end, your presence is what is really important to them.
Improving your listening skills can help you solve many problems at home and business. It will also enhance your capacity to empathize as you will see the world through others’ eyes.
Do you have good listening skills?
Every Friday, this blog will feature a post by Freedom Freeda about mindset and motivational topics. Online business marketing success is not only about learning internet marketing tips and tricks, it is also about maintaining the right mindset to achieve your goals.
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