Good listening skill is an important component of good communication. Many of us are eager to talk when we should be listening. Active listening is a conscious act. We may have to get over some of our bad listening habits to become good listeners. In the course of a day we hear a lot, but do we really think about it, analyse it and understand what we listen. In many cases when someone is talking to us, we tune out. The reason may be we do not like the appearance of the person, his attitude, attire, voice or jump to a conclusion that we already know what the speaker is going to say. In some cases we start listening enthusiastically, but we get lost after a few words and become preoccupied with our own thoughts.
Many have the bad habit of pretending listening, while their thoughts are wandering or they are simply day dreaming. These are some of the habits we need to do away with to become a good listener.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD LISTENER
- Good listeners prepare themselves to listen. They listen to all the speaker has to say and do not jump to conclusions.
- They come ready to listen, perhaps by reading about the topic in advance and doing some research on their own.
- They take occasional notes on the main points, ideas and information.
- They listen not only with their ears, but with their eyes too, watching the body language of the speaker for non verbal clues.
- A good listener listens with empathy and tries to understand the speaker’s opinion from the speaker’s point of view.
- They ask relevant questions to encourage the speaker to come out with better explanations.
A good listener encourages the speaker by showing appreciation, nodding in agreement, smiling or even clapping when the speaker comes up with good ideas.