THE ART OF LISTENING
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason”? That saying sounds a little sassy, but good listening skills are one of the most important traits of successful people and successful teams. Listening allows people to understand what other people need so that everyone can come to the best, most informed decision. When everyone makes an effort to listen well to one another, everyone’s concerns and desires are heard and can be addressed.
Here are some tips on how to become a good listener:
- When you’re listening to someone, don’t think about what you’re about to say next. Start thinking about your response only after they are finished speaking.
- If the other person has told you something important, double-check that you understand them by rephrasing the information and repeating it back to them. This allows the person to tell you that you are either correct or to clarify what they meant.
- When you’re listening to someone, think about their frame of reference. This will help give you context for where they are coming from. For instance, maybe someone is saying something to you in a less friendly tone than usual. Instead of getting offended, think about what you know about this person. He or she may simply be dealing with a high-pressure situation, so you don’t need to take it personally.
- When you understand someone, it’s easier to build a positive emotional link to the person. Understanding someone helps to eliminate barriers of misunderstanding and build more trust.
- Listening well helps to eliminate confusion, mistakes and other avoidable errors.
- How do you make other people feel heard?
- Who do you know that is a good listener, and how do they make you feel?
- Do you consider yourself a good listener?
- What are some tactics you can use to become a better listener?