The Art of Listening: 8 Ways to Be a Better Listener & Improve Your Relationships by Sheri B Doyle
Recently, there has been a lot of talk in my family about the importance of good communication skills. After reading this post from Bri Montoya, I have not been able to stop thinking about my communication skills and how important they are.
The biggest skill in good communication is listening and most of us are not necessarily good listeners. In fact, most of us listen only to respond. We listen with only 25 percent efficiency. In fact, most of us listen with the intention of responding, almost completely missing what is being said to us. Be a better listener with these tips:
- Remain silent until the speaker is finished.
- Ask questions to make sure you understand what was said.
- Do not interrupt.
- Pay attention, use eye contact.
- Don’t try to force solutions.
- Do not listen to find right or wrong, listen to understand where the other person is coming from.
- Do not be defensive or afraid to be uncomfortable.
- Be present. Do not let your mind, attention or eyes wander.
Being a good listener will not only be fulfilling to you as you learn more and find your relationships improving, but it will make those who are speaking to you feel validated and important.