If you want to become a good listener there are certain traits and skills you will need to learn. Listening is a great skill to develop and it can improve all areas of your life. People love to talk and are always looking for someone to listen to them.
- When listening to someone your goal should be to understand their point of view. Listen to everything they say before forming your own opinion, and remember that you do not necessarily have to agree with them. Everyone deserves, and should form, their own opinions on various topics.
- Paying attention is the next trait. If you don’t pay attention you will miss out on important information. Always be aware of what is going on with the person who is speaking, and don’t forget to pay attention to your surroundings.
- The action of making eye contact with the person who is speaking, shows them that you are paying attention. If you start looking around you, you are giving them the impression that you are not interested, or have become bored.
- Try to look at their point of view and ask yourself if they might be the person who is right.
- Allow the person to finish talking. This often takes a little patience, but it can be helpful for both sides. First the person talking can vent their opinions or frustrations. Secondly it helps the listener to fully understand the issue at hand.
A good listener will also think before responding back. Again they often ask what if this person is correct in their way of thinking. People have the bad trait of speaking before thinking and this can lead to all kinds of awkward or difficult situations.
It is perfectly normal for your brain to want to respond quickly, stop yourself and think before you speak!
Sometimes it can be hard to stay focused on a person, it is normal to want to look away. If you find yourself doing this try nodding to the person or making direct eye contact with them. This signals to them that you are paying attention. If you really need to look away for a second, then muffle a cough behind your hand!
Other tips that you might want to use to show that you are paying attention include:
- Saying the person’s name now and again
- Using facial expressions
- Using body language
If you make an effort to put these five traits into play consistently, you will become a much better listener for it.