Becoming a better listener isn’t hard, especially when you have the right tools. In fact, becoming an active listener and improving on your poor listening skills is bound to help you advance in your career or relationship with people.
You see, it’s the good listeners who reap all of the rewards. They are the people who pay attention, who ask the right questions and who get the boss’ attention. They are good listeners, so they make their supervisors and those they supervise feel heard and appreciated. Most importantly, they are liked for being good listeners.
What does it mean to be an “active” listener?
Becoming a better listener is all about making the process more “active.” It’s not only about actually taking in information, but showing the other person that you are actively involved in what they have to say.
In your life, there are going to be a professional setting, with colleagues and supervisors who want to know that you are taking in what they are saying.
Showing you are an active listener can impress them, and can make you instantly more memorable and more liked.
All you have to is follow these tips, and you will be able to break your bad listening habits in no time. Pay attention, because you might just be able to see some of the mistakes you’ve been making.
Being on your phone is the easiest way to show someone that you are not paying attention, and probably have no idea what they are talking about.
Let’s face it, phones are a huge distraction in the workplace. Not only when we’re on them, but their sheer presence serves as a distraction (waiting on messages and notifications from friends and family).
The best thing you can do to become a better listener is to put your phone down, and put it away. This will give you a chance to pay better attention, by keeping your eyes off the screen.
Notes aren’t just for school! They are actually an incredibly useful tool. When you take a notebook out and actually write down what someone is saying, you are going to retain the information much more easily.
It is also going to show that person that you value what they say, enough to write it down forever!
It’s going to make that person feel more comfortable with you and is definitely going to reflect well on what they think about you moving forward. Always remember that a dull pen is better than a sharp mind.
It’s All in the Eyes
It might seem simple, but eye contact is going to be so important when it comes to becoming an active listener. Make eye contact with the person you are listening to so that they can feel heard. Paying attention truly is the essence of becoming a better listener. You are able to focus on what’s being said, and not the million other thoughts swirling around in your brain.
Always, always, always ask questions after someone is finished speaking. Whether it’s at a meeting, or after a presentation when you ask a question you show that you are engaging with the person who is speaking.
Not only is this going to show that you have been listening the whole time. But it’s also going to help develop a relationship with the speaker – maybe your boss, for example.
This goes back to point 2, “Take Notes”: while someone is speaking, take notes about potential questions.
Just remember that there is no such thing as stupid questions – only if you’ve been a bad listener.
Do Not Interrupt
The number one rule for becoming a better listener! Do not interrupt someone when they are sharing their thoughts or delivering a presentation.
This is the easiest way to show someone that you are not paying attention, and that you are more interested in waiting for someone to finish speaking so that you can weigh in with your thoughts.
When you interrupt, you immediately cut yourself off from being a good listener – so don’t do it!
Hopefully, these tips help you become a better listener at work and help you break some of those poor listening habits that you might have built up over the years. When you listen at work, you have the opportunity to really shine.
People take notice when someone is listening, and when they are paying attention to important information. Since people don’t do it often enough, why not stand out for the right reasons today?