Have you ever felt that somebody isn’t listening to you? Then you know how it can be incredibly frustrating.
Here are 5 key active listening skills to keep you from being that person. 😱 😜 😂
- Be attentive: Give the person speaking your undivided, non-judgmental attention. Do not interrupt.
- Be attuned: Pay attention to the person’s feelings and reflect on the words of the person you are speaking to. Ask for clarification if anything is unclear.
- Summarize first: Paraphrase what you heard back to the speaker to make sure you understood them correctly. Only then should you begin to share your thoughts on what they’ve said and bring in your ideas.
- Ask open-ended, probing questions: Be curious about the other person without judging. Most of us generalize our perceptions of reality to be true for everyone and assume that what we saw is what really happened. Dig deeper. Don’t assume. Seek to understand.
- Watch and respond: Focus on the response that you’re getting to evaluate how your message is being received. Adjust your approach accordingly. Watch your body language too. Angle your body towards the person you’re speaking to and make eye contact. Smile when appropriate. Avoid negative facial expressions such as furrowing your brow or folding your arms. And if the words of the person you are speaking to don’t match their body language, it’s fine to ask! You can say something like: “you’re telling me that X, but your expression is saying Y. Do you have some concerns?”
Remember to keep your tone supportive and your own body language receptive.
Life is about relationships and great relationships come from clear communication.
What are your tips for better communication?