Listening is an essential skill that can help a person to gain new insights into people's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Listening is what builds relationships and successful teams.
It is not just about hearing what someone says, it's about understanding them too. It is important to listen carefully as it can help us show empathy and connect with others in meaningful ways.
Listening is different from talking: talking means thinking out loud while listening means putting your voice on pause so you can understand what someone else has said before speaking yourself.
Listening also allows us to meet people where they are at instead of where we want them to be which may not always be the same
Listening is often thought of as passive, but it can definitely be learned through active engagement. Active engagement involves going beyond simply allowing something into your ears and thinking about what's happening in the speaker's life or trying to determine their emotions based on body language or facial expressions.
Why listening matters:
Listening is important because it is how we connect with people on a personal level. It provides us a unique opportunity to understand our colleagues and most importantly our clients by paying close attention to what they say and how they say it. More importantly, listening also enables us to hear what’s not being said out loud which helps us get more insight into the person or situation that we are in.
Listening is a skill that can be learned over time with practice and patience.
Tips for becoming a better listener are:
- Be present in the moment.
- Set up your environment before the meeting. Remove distractions.
- Don't interrupt: Talking during someone's speech can make them feel like they have been interrupted, which can make them become less open and honest.
- Ask for clarification: Asking questions or clarifying what someone said is a great way to improve your listening abilities. This can also help you understand things better and it's one of the best ways to show that you're actually paying attention.
- Listen actively: Don't let your mind wander when you're listening to someone else. What are they saying? How? What do they mean? Is there anything important they might not have said?
- Use signals: Look at the person speaking for cues as to what you need to know in order. For example, if someone turns their head away from you, it could indicate disapproval, while smiling could indicate approval.
- Be open and receptive to their words and ideas--take them seriously.
- Listen from multiple perspectives by asking questions related to each aspect of what is being said.