EFFECTIVE LISTENING 1.2
The following are a few traits of active listeners:
- Spend more time listening than talking.
- Do not finish the sentences of others.
- Do not answer questions with questions.
- Are aware of biases. We all have them. We need to control them.
- Never daydreams or become preoccupied with their own thoughts when others talk.
- Let the other speakers talk. Do not dominate the conversations.
- Plan responses after the others have finished speaking, NOT while they are speaking.
- Provide feedback, but do not interrupt incessantly.
- Analyze by looking at all the relevant factors and asking open-ended questions. Walk others through by summarizing.
- Keep conversations on what others say, NOT on what interests them.
- Take brief notes. This forces them to concentrate on what is being said.
Active Listening Steps
1. Make eye contact/Follow speaker – Look the speaker in the eyes. When the speaker is addressing a large group (e.g., during a lecture or presentation), eye contact will not be possible. In this case, follow the speaker’s movements.
i. Listen while keeping the eye contact - This shows that you’re interested in listening to what is being said.
ii. Be slow to speak - At times, people speak to take out their frustration. Actually they want a shoulder to count on and a keen ear to listen to them. Listen first and whenever speaking, speak slowly so that the person gets time to solve things at his end.
iii. Be attentive - Learn to listen keenly and let the speaker know that you’re actually listening to him. You can speak phrases, like yeah, hmmm, I know, that’s true, okay, etc, in between, so as to show your interest.
iv. Show gratitude - Allow the speaker to discern that you feel pleased that he/she opened up with you. If nothing personal was whispered, then let the speaker know that you enjoyed listening to him/her and you actually learnt a lot.
v. Stay in tune - While the conversation is still going on, don’t disappear in between just because your mind drifted. Any type of fidgeting and fiddling show that you’re not interested in listening. If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate, start repeating what is being said to you by the speaker.