We all have some good and some bad factors while communicating. Some are good at speaking some are good listeners while some are both. But what if you aren’t that good at listening then you should definitely learn how to be a good listener.
In communication we have four very important components.
For verbal communication, the listening is a very critical component. We learn the listening skills unconsciously during our very early stage of life. Our parents teach us to speak, to read and write, but we learn to listen by ourselves.
Listening is a skill, it is not just like hearing. Listening requires connection with the speaker, acknowledging him, and asking appropriate and relative questions in between.
Listening is hearing>> comprehending>>acknowledging>>asking relative queries.
It is just not hearing quietly.
At each stage of our life we listen and learn:
During our childhood, we listen to our parents what they speak and learn.
At schooling age, we hear and listen to our teachers.
At college also we listen to the lectures.
During work, we listen to colleagues and seniors.
Spouse and children at the later stage of life.
I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
Good listening is much more than being silent while the other person talks
Good listening included interactions that build a person’s self-esteem
Good listening was seen as a cooperative conversation.
Good listeners tended to make suggestions.
The listener creates a safe environment in which difficult, complex, or emotional issues can be discussed.
The listener clears away distractions like phones and laptops, focusing attention on the other person and making appropriate eye-contact. (This behavior not only affects how you are perceived as the listener; it immediately influences the listener’s own attitudes and inner feelings. Acting the part changes how you feel inside. This, in turn, makes you a better listener.)
The listener seeks to understand the substance of what the other person is saying. They capture ideas, ask questions, and restate issues to confirm that their understanding is correct.
The listener observes non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions, perspiration, respiration rates, gestures, posture, and numerous other subtle body language signals. It is estimated that 80% of what we communicate comes from these signals. It sounds strange to some, but you listen with your eyes as well as your ears.
The listener increasingly understands the other person’s emotions and feelings about the topic at hand, and identifies and acknowledges them. The listener empathizes with and validates those feelings in a supportive, nonjudgmental way.
The listener asks questions that clarify assumptions the other person holds and helps the other person to see the issue in a new light. This could include the listener injecting some thoughts and ideas about the topic that could be useful to the other person. However, good listeners never highjack the conversation so that they or their issues become the subject of the discussion.
Each of the levels builds on the others; thus, if you’ve been criticized (for example) for offering solutions rather than listening, it may mean you need to attend to some of the other levels (such as clearing away distractions or empathizing) before your proffered suggestions can be appreciated.
We suspect that in being a good listener, most of us are more likely to stop short rather than go too far. Our hope is that this research will help by providing a new perspective on listening. We hope those who labor under an illusion of superiority about their listening skills will see where they really stand. We also hope the common perception that good listening is mainly about acting like an absorbent sponge will wane. Finally, we hope all will see that the highest and best form of listening comes in playing the same role for the other person that a trampoline plays for a child. It gives energy, acceleration, height, and amplification. These are the hallmarks of great listening.