I was asked in one of my one o one session about a 14 years old young man. Always blaming his parents and close family not listening to him.
A devastated mom asking for solution, trying to understand what is she doing wrong. Always being near the young man and trying to solve what she sees needs to be solved.
That is why I decided today to share few tips or ways to help you to become a better listener, improve your productivity as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate.
How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.
The way to improve your listening skills is to practice “active listening.” This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, the complete message being communicated.
There are five key active listening techniques you can use to help you become a more effective listener:
- Pay Attention
Give the speaker your undivided attention, and acknowledge the message.
Recognize that non-verbal communication also “speaks” loudly.
Look at the speaker directly.
Put aside distracting thoughts.
Don’t mentally prepare a rebuttal!
Avoid being distracted by environmental factors.
For example, side conversations.
“Listen” to the speaker’s body language .
- Show That You’re Listening
Use your own body language and gestures to show that you are engaged.
Smile and use other facial expressions.
Make sure that your posture is open and interested.
Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like yes, and “uh huh.”
- Provide Feedback
Our personal filters, assumptions, judgments, and beliefs can distort what we hear.
As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said.
This may require you to reflect on what is being said and to ask questions.
Reflect on what has been said by paraphrasing.
“What I’m hearing is… ,” and “Sounds like you are saying… ,” are great ways to reflect
Ask questions to clarify certain points. “What do you mean when you say… .”
“Is this what you mean?” Summarize the speaker’s comments periodically.
If you find yourself responding emotionally to what someone said, say so. And ask for more information: “I may not be understanding you correctly, and I find myself taking what you said personally. What I thought you just said is -blank-. Is that what you meant?”
- Defer Judgment
Interrupting is a waste of time. It frustrates the speaker and limits full understanding of
Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions.
Don’t interrupt with counter arguments.
- Respond Appropriately
Active listening is designed to encourage respect and understanding. You are gaining
information and perspective. You add nothing by attacking the speaker or otherwise
putting her down.
Be candid, open and honest in your response.
Assert your opinions respectfully.
Treat the other person in a way that you think they would want to be treated.
Active listening is a must in all fields and especially in parenting so we can establish a better generation to come. And please if any assistance is needed, I will be waiting for your messages so we together try to find solution to your struggles.