Effective listening skills play a vital role in any career. A good listener is able to advance in his career easily. Individuals who lack listening skills are poor learners and poor leaders too.
These are individuals who fail to grasp the right facts because they do not pay attention. Listening is very important and people need to understand the significance of listening and work on improving these skills. Here are some simple tips to help in developing listening skills.
Ways to Developing Listening Skills:
The following mentioned are few tips on developing listening skills and the importance of listening.
1. Pay Attention to What Others Say:
There are many individuals who fail to focus on what someone is saying. They are often restless and distracted individuals who fail to focus their complete attention on one thing. Paying complete attention to what you hear is the first step to effective listening.
There could be many reasons for distractions. Eliminating distractions is one step to paying good attention. If you are working in an office, make sure you create the perfect ambiance for all the important discussions. The right ambiance may mean neat and tidy desk. It also means eliminating all the possible causes of noise in the surrounding.
2. Always Listen, Do Not Assume:
Most of us have a fake feeling that we can predict what other people think when we know them pretty well. Often such assumptions lead to miscommunication and improper coordination. You must always listen completely to what others speak before running into any conclusion.
Listening attentively may help you come across some facts that you may have never expected or known. It is through attentive listening that knowledge grows and you must always leave scope for such knowledge.
3. Do Not Neglect Anyone Regarding Them To Lack Knowledge:
A common mistake most of us make is judge people after a few meetings. We start classifying people as intelligent, foolish, geeky, thoughtful or dumb. Such judgments make us feel that we are superior to some of these individuals. This feeling of superiority complex is one big obstacle in proper listening.
On the contrary, if you regard everyone neutrally keeping an unbiased open mind, you will be able to listen better and understand what the person wishes to communicate. It is vital in most important professions that you possess good listening skills so you need to harness these skills.
4. Keep Your Mind Stress-free:
Stress has many adverse effects on the body and mind. One of the greatest impact of stress is seen on your mind and the way the brain functions. When you are in stress, you often fail to concentrate. This could be because your mind is already preoccupied with some other important thing. In such a situation, it is really impossible to listen effectively.
It is thus necessary that you keep your mind stress free when you are heading for important meetings or group discussions. You may try meditation or ever a short power nap to get rid of stress.
5. Avoid Conversation When Overworked or Stressed:
There are occasions when a bit of meditation or Yoga does not help you de-stress. The stress could be too big or you may just be ill. In such situations, when you know you cannot do justice to the conversation, it is best to avoid or postpone such meetings, seminars or group discussions. This is because, when you are overstressed and unable to listen properly, you would simply be wasting time without helping any good from happening.
6. Try To Develop Interest When Uninteresting Topics Are Discussed:
Lack of interest is another deterrent. It prevents proper conversations from happening. One must always have an interest in the topic that is being discussed to be able to contribute effectively. You need to develop patience to listen effectively. People who lack patience fail to listen to all the details and often miss out on some vital information. On the contrary, patient listeners gain vital knowledge that helps them in their career and growth.
7. Stay Equipped with Knowledge on All Subjects and topics:
Very often, lack of interest is a result of lack of knowledge. If that is the case, you need to gather relevant knowledge to be able to contribute in vital conversations. Books are the best source of information. Another source of information is surely the internet. You will find information about different topics.
Once you possess the knowledge, you can contribute effectively and listen patiently when the same or related topics are being discussed. When you possess the knowledge, any discussion helps you add to the existing knowledge. It also helps you reveal to people around you about how well informed you are. This is the reason why best orators are often the best read men around the world.
8. Get Acquainted with Different Accents:
The accent or the tone of the speaker also decides how much you can actually grasp from the conversation. A person with a foreign accent or a nasal tone is often a bad speaker. The listeners really have to strain their ears and struggle to comprehend what the speaker has been speaking.
Poor speakers pose a real challenge to the listeners. It becomes difficult to listen properly if it is a poor speaker. You may have to put extra efforts and yet it may not be the best listening experience.
9. Concentrate on Gesture To Get A Better Idea of the Subject:
The knowledge of body language is often of help even in situations when you do not know the accent or the tone of the speaker. Body language often reveals the true motive or the intent of the speaker and reveals certain facts about the speaker even when he doesn’t wish to.
A drooping posture often reveals that the speaker lacks confidence. An extremely erect posture and fast speech reveal that the person has prepared or mugged for the performance. A person who continuously fiddles is nervous about something. A Loud tone of speech often reveals authority. Even without understanding what the person is speaking, you can actually make out these facts if you have knowledge regarding body language and kinesics.
If you are basically a poor listener, you can actually work to improve listening skills. Here are some simple and easy ways to improve your listening skills all by yourself:
10. Practice Listening and Comprehending:
You may start off by practicing listening skills at home. You can simply play a tape or an audio and try to recollect what was played. Try to gauge how much you understood by simply listening. You may even try to write down what you recollect. This way you can understand when your listening skills improve.
You may grade your skills from 1 to 10 based on how much you are able to recollect or remember. This is a good exercise for the brain and it ensures improved listening skills. You may even seek the assistance of a friend to evaluate your listening skills and grade you accordingly.
11. Take Lessons on Kinesics:
The significance of kinesics and the way in which it ensures to help communication even with strangers or in foreign countries makes is inevitable. If you wish to prosper in your career, you need to take a few extra lessons on kinesics.
Try to understand what different gestures, postures and tones mean. If you lead a huge team and take up huge responsibilities in your firm, your listening abilities will help you to fulfill your responsibilities well. You may start learning about kinesics by observing your friends and dear ones. Try to relate their expressions with their emotions and see how well you gauge what is going on in their minds.
12. Find Easy Means to Destress During a Working Day:
You can work efficiently or put in your best at studies only if you are attentive. Only people who are stress free are actually completely attentive. Even for listening effectively, a stress free mind is a key ingredient. So try to find various means to keep your mind free of stress.
One great resort would be music. It is known to calm our senses and bring back happiness. Proper sleep in the night is also equally important. Some people find chocolates and coffee de-stressing. There is no harm in depending on these occasionally but if you make it a habit, it may turn addictive.
Proper listening practice and an ardent desire to learn will help you grasp most from all conversations and important discussions. These tips are sure to help.