Listening is a skill that everyone should learn. This is the thing that will allow us to obtain a lot of information. Yes it is true that there are a lot more ways to obtain information but those ones that can be considered as the most important information can only be taken from listening. On top of that, we also spend a lot of time talking with people and so we have to practice the way we listen to them, and how to improve listening skills.
There are two types of listening; one, seems to be listening and two, active listening. The evidence of the first one are the times when we feel that the person we are talking to is looking somewhere else and seem not to be listening at all. Active listening is the thing that people really need. This is the time when we put an effort to understand the things that the person talking to us is saying. The most common downside of listeners is the fact that they will prepare the things that they will say after the person spoke instead of understanding the words in a conscious effort.
Here are some tips that will allow you to improve your listening skills every time you are in the situation when you have to listen like meetings, conferences, lectures or even normal conversations.
- Pay attention – you can never listen if you are not paying attention to the one talking. This will help you on how to improve your listening skills every time since you will be able to focus on every word. By paying attention, you will notice the words that are being said and the manner in which they are delivered. This is also very important because most words will mean more if they are said in a specific manner. The best example for this one is the fact that people are sometimes, if not most, sarcastic.
- Show them that you are listening – you have to show the person talking that you are listening intently. This is because they will tend to divulge a lot more information when they know that the person is listening. If I were in a situation when the person listening to me does not seem to listen at all, I would just stop even if the thing that I am talking about is for his benefit. At the end of the day, the loser will always be the one who did not listen intently. Good listening skills can be achieved with conscious effort.
- Feedback – a feedback is a sign that you are listening. This is because you will be showing that you have understood something from what the person said and you are trying to correct yourself if there is anything wrong. This will prompt the one talking that he should explain the matter more. This will be for your benefit since you will be the one who will get the most information. This is one of the best signs of effective listening skills.
- Don’t think yet – as I have said a while ago, you should not think about your response while the person is talking. This is because your mind will end up preoccupied and you will probably be not able to give out an appropriate response. You might also end up understanding the matter in another point of view that is not supposed to be the subject that you guys are talking about. This might lead to you giving out an offensive response because you did not listen intently.
- Listening activities – there are a lot of listening skills activities that you can do on your own. One of which is very simple and you might even be doing it already. Try to listen to songs and understand what the words really mean. Also try to interpret the message that it is trying to give out, by doing this you will be able to listen intently without thinking of a response yet. This is because of the fact that you cannot respond to what the songs are saying. You can also watch movies, speeches and other stuff and try to listen, after they speak try to give out a good response.
You have to remember that this is a skill so it has to be practiced. It is not something that can be acquired overnight and you certainly cannot pay for it. All you can do is to apply these things consciously if you really want to learn about the skill. After all, it is your skill and it will be your benefit.
Do you think you can improve more your listening skills? Keep posting tips on how people can improve their listening skills.