#FairyGodmother's Show - Improving Your Listening Skills
👋Hi There, 👩🦰 Llynne Switzer here- professional #FairyGodmother 🧚♀️, helping you to manifest a personal life and heartfelt small business that that you absolutely love.
Today I am talking about Improving Your Listening Skills
In order to be able to communicate successfully with others we have to develop our listening skills, truly listening to what someone is saying and understanding them is the key to effective communication. While the majority of us think we listen to what others are saying, in fact very few of us actually do listen intently and this is where misunderstandings can arise, which leads to difficulties and sometimes arguments.
Most of us has, over the years developed poor listening habits and have continued through life with these habits, some of the most common habits that people have developed which leads to poor listening skills include.
• Listening without really hearing what the other is saying, which often leaves us missing the point
• We allow other influences around us to distract us and drift away from the conversation
• We pretend we are listening when in fact we are thinking of something else and only hear snatches of what is being said
• Very often start out listening then if we think we know what is being said, interrupt the person before they have finished talking
• A person can often hear what they want to hear, or what they think they should be haring which is often very different from what is actually being said
• We often assume we known why something is being said and jump on the defensive side
• We cant wait for an opportunity to butt into the conversation with our own point of view
These are the most common mistakes that many of us make when it comes to listening, or rather, not listening. However by realizing your mistakes and attempting to change them you are more likely to be aware of your mistakes, and this makes changing bad habits easier. To develop positive and effective listening habits you should follow the following tips.
• Even if what the talker is saying is boring, you really have to force yourself to listen intently to what they are saying and not be tempted to drift away into your own world. As well as focusing on what they are saying, watch their body language such as eye contact, hand movements and head nods.
• Listen to everything they are saying even if this means acknowledging the unpleasant or what you don’t particularly want to hear.
• Try not to draw any conclusion before you have heard everything the person is saying to you, don’t butt into the conversation before they have finished by guessing what they are going to say.
• Question the speaker in a non-judgmental way, by asking questions in this manner you will very often find that what the speaker has in mind and what you assumed are two different things.
• When unsure ask them directly if what you think is actually what they meant, this can very often alleviate or stop any misunderstandings from occurring.
The more you practice improving your listening skills the easier it becomes until you develop these new habits as second nature. You will then find that you get along with people easier and are less likely to get into conflicts through misunderstandings.
Hear What People Are Really Saying
Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.
We listen to obtain information.
We listen to understand.
We listen for enjoyment.
We listen to learn.
Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. By becoming a better listener, you can improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. What's more, you'll avoid conflict and misunderstandings. All of these are necessary for workplace success!
About Active Listening
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.
In order to do this you must pay attention to the other person very carefully.
You cannot allow yourself to become distracted by whatever else may be going on around you, or by forming counter arguments while the other person is still speaking. Nor can you allow yourself to get bored, and lose focus on what the other person is saying.
If you're finding it particularly difficult to concentrate on what someone is saying, try repeating his or her words mentally as he says them – this will reinforce his message and help you to stay focused.
To enhance your listening skills, you need to let the other person know that you are listening to what she is saying.
To understand the importance of this, ask yourself if you've ever been engaged in a conversation when you wondered if the other person was listening to what you were saying. You wonder if your message is getting across, or if it's even worthwhile continuing to speak. It feels like talking to a brick wall and it's something you want to avoid.
Becoming an Active Listener
There are five key active listening techniques you can use to help you become a more effective listener:
1. 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 .
2. 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."
3. 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 back.
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 XXX. Is that what you meant?"
4. Defer Judgment
Interrupting is a waste of time. It frustrates the speaker and limits full understanding of the message.
Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions.
Don't interrupt with counter arguments.
5. 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 she would want to be treated.
It takes a lot of concentration and determination to be an active listener. Old habits are hard to break, and if your listening skills are as bad as many people's are, then you'll need to do a lot of work to break these bad habits.
There are five key techniques you can use to develop your active listening skills:
Show that you're listening.
Start using active listening techniques today to become a better communicator, improve your workplace productivity, and develop better relationships.
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