Why Exert Effort to Become an Active Listener?
Becoming an active listener is one of the effective tools that you may consider adding to enhance your skills and overall performance. Studies showed that an average person remembers only 25 to 50 percent of what he/she hears. Those are quite alarming figures if you consider how much time you spend every day listening and talking to each other. If you can hear only about 50 percent of what the other person is telling you, then this basically limits your ability to effectively respond.
If how you are performing your job or how you are managing key relationships is vital to you, then improving your ability to listen actively is a skill that you should further improve on.
In the next paragraphs, you are going to discover the 3 ways on how you can be an active listener.
Number 1. Practice – for this one, you are expected to practice self discipline but rest assure that the payoff would be enormous. So with your next conversation, see to it that you have invested effort of not only hearing the words but listening to the message you’re told as well.
To make everything a lot easier to understand, try to block things that are going on around you. Many of us could be easily distracted and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s quite easy to lose focus on the conversation that we have at hand be it when looking at photos in someone’s cubicle or office or there are other conversations going around us. To become an active listener, always remember that focus is crucial.
Number 2. Be engaged physically in what the speaker says – eye contact is crucial but so does the facial expressions made to show that you really are listening. It is wise to nod every now and then and tell the speaker that you understand the message. Speakers will appreciate that you are actually listening on what they’re saying by simply smiling at appropriate parts of conversation. To make it simpler, give some feedback to the speaker.
Number 3. Defer judgment on what is being said – until you were able to understand the full context of the message, keep on doing this. Perhaps, using the correct terms or words aren’t used but allow the speaker to finish talking. You have to put personal opinions aside for a while and absorb as much info as you could. You need to know that editorializing and constantly interrupting are conversation killers which you should avoid at all cost.
Active listening skill is something that will take time and practice and you will not get it overnight so do not rush things.