How To Listen And Not Just Hear
Are you a good listener? Do you pay attention or do you just wait for your turn to speak? Many people think they are good listeners, but in reality not many of us know how to listen. In order to be an effective listener, it means putting our distractions aside and focusing on the speaker. Being a good listener is more than just hearing what’s being said. To become a better listener in any type of relationship, follow the six tips below.
Show that you care
A good listener shows that he or she cares about the other person by being fully present and paying close attention to what is being said. A person who is feeling overwhelmed by an issue will be highly unlikely to benefit from your advice. If you’re feeling like you have the right solution to their problem, put those thoughts aside and help them work through their feelings.
Pay attention and focus on the speaker
Check your body language to make sure it’s open and welcoming rather than defensive. Avoid interrupting the speaker, finish your thoughts before you ask a question or share an opinion. If the speaker has a long monologue, encourage them to continue by saying things like, “wow, what an amazing story,” or, “you have my full attention.”
Don’t just hear, understand as well
Most people just hear the words that are being spoken. They don’t try to understand what the person is actually saying. When you really want to listen to someone, you need to make sure that you understand the main idea behind what they are saying. If you want to be a good listener, you need to be really attentive to the conversation and the person you are talking to. If you get interrupted, reorient yourself back to the speaker and what they are saying.
Ask questions to gain understanding
If you are not certain that you fully understand what the speaker is trying to convey, ask a question. But make sure your questions are relevant ones. Don’t ask questions that serve no purpose or that could be answered by reading the speaker’s mind. Questions like “what do you think the cause of the problem is?” can help you gain a better understanding of the situation.
Sum up what you’ve heard
As you are listening to the person, try to summarize what they are saying in your mind. After the person has finished talking to you, restate what you heard to make sure that you haven’t missed anything. This will show the speaker that you really understand the conversation you were having.
After you’ve listened to what the other person has to say, make sure that you have given them your full attention and then provide feedback. Let them know by saying something like, “I have given your words careful consideration,” or by asking them if they feel like you have fully grasped their message. If you don’t have time to provide feedback right away, let the person know that you will get back to them in a timely manner.
Being a good listener is more than just hearing what’s being said. Good listening involves making eye contact, showing interest, and asking relevant questions when appropriate. If you want to become a better listener, you need to practice these skills on a regular basis until they become second nature.
The author of this article is a therapist from the Sensera app. Sensera is a daily 10-minute self-therapy app. It’ll help you to cope with various mental problems (anxiety, self-esteem, relationship issues). Feel better with CBT audio sessions and exercises. Download now to become happier!