Four Tips to Become a Better Listener
According to Mark Sullivan's research, listening is the most important communication skill. He found that we spend 60% of our communication time listening, but only retain 25% of what we hear.
How can we become better listeners? Sullivan offers the following four suggestions:
1. Pay attention to the speaker's nonverbal cues.
2. Try to understand the speaker's point of view.
3. Don't interrupt the speaker.
4. Ask questions to clarify what the speaker is saying.
By following these four tips, we can become better communicators and better listeners.
Pay attention to the person speaking
When you're in a conversation with someone, it's important to pay attention to the person speaking. This shows that you're interested in what they have to say, and it also allows you to properly understand the conversation. If you're not paying attention, you might miss important details or misunderstand what was said. So next time you're talking to someone, make sure to give them your full attention!
Interrupting somebody when they are speaking is considered rude in many social situations, so it's best to avoid doing it. If you find yourself interrupted frequently, try to be more aware of when you are speaking and try to avoid speaking over others. If you are interrupted, politely wait for the person to finish speaking before continuing.
Clarify what you've heard
If you're ever unsure about something you've heard, whether it's gossip or something more serious, it's always best to clarify. Talk to the person who told you the information, or, if you're not comfortable doing that, talk to someone else who may have more knowledge on the situation. It's better to be sure about what's going on before you make any decisions based on the information.
Reflect back what you've heard
I'm so sorry for yelling at you earlier. I know you were just trying to help.
Paraphrase what you've heard
If you want to paraphrase what you've heard, you need to first identify the main ideas in what you heard. To do this, you need to listen for key words and phrases. Once you've identified the main ideas, you can then start to paraphrase them in your own words.
If you're feeling lost or just need some guidance, don't hesitate to ask questions. There's no such thing as a stupid question, and the only way to get better is to learn from your mistakes. Chances are, someone else has probably had the same question as you, so don't be afraid to ask. We're all here to help each other out.
Hold off on giving advice
If you're not an expert, hold off on giving advice. It's okay to have an opinion, but make sure you know what you're talking about before you open your mouth. There's nothing worse than someone who thinks they know everything, but are actually just regurgitating what they've heard from someone else. If you're not sure about something, it's better to say nothing at all.