“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.” – Zeno of Citium.
Listening is the key to all effective communication where one receives and interprets data in a verbal communication process. All the managers and entrepreneurs credit their success to effective listening skill. Take time to listen what your employees and customers want to share. Be a good listener. This develops a cordial and loyal relationship between the two.
To master your listening skills , follow these 5 tips:
1- Open your body language.
It shows your interest and disinterest in listening. Patiently listen to your employees. When you are listening , make an eye contact or lean slightly forward to show your interest. This develops a strong relationship wherein both the parties can share their emotions.
2- Stay engaged.
Even if you are busy always make time for the one who shares important things with you. Your disinterest will eventually make them feel unimportant. While talking on the phone, give full attention to what the other person says rather than staring at the computer screen and answering. Give the other person a sense of trust while he/she is speaking to you.
3- Do not interrupt.
When a person speaks do not interrupt do not break the continuity. Even if you feel like interrupting , resist that if you want to become an effective communicator. You never know what the other person would actually feel when you interrupt even its for a good sake. Because when you interrupt the opposite person looses his/her opportunity to fully express his thoughts and ideas.
4- Ask questions.
Always ask questions to the other person. Let it be any questions but do ask. Asking questions will not only help the other person to answer confidently and also develop a strong bond. Asking unstructured questions is ok at times, and have ample of answers. This is the best way you can show your engagement. If you have some doubt always ask for explanations and clarifications.
5- Practice empathetic listening.
Empathetic listening means active listening. Be active when others speak. Don’t just listen to give an answer. Listen not only with your ears but with eyes and heart too. Imagine yourself in the speakers position and put yourself in the psychological position of the speaker. Always ask yourself “HOW WOULD I REACT IF I WAS IN HIS POSITION?” Once you finally come to an answer respond thoughtfully.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” -Stephen Covey
Listening is not as easy as you think. Don’t think what you want to say next. It the disrupts the whole meaning of communication itself. Learn to be a good listener first and then a good speaker.
It’s time to ask yourself now!