How To Boost Your Active Listening Skills

By Dickson Osas

A person’s ability to listen and talk well is essential for effective communication. Verbal and written communication skills are critical in most employment, regardless of the business. Your capacity to communicate successfully may be hindered if you lack listening skills.

Here, we’ll go over the importance of good listening skills and how to develop them with this step-by-step guide to active listening.

Why is listening so important?

The ability to listen is a key aspect of effective communication. Being a good listener can help you build connections, make better decisions, and come to swift agreements with others. Listening abilities are crucial for the following reasons.

● Beliefs, actions, and emotions of another person are examples of how well you pay attention to the world around you.

● It gives you more sway over others and the ability to lead, serve, inspire, and develop others.

● Useful for businesses with access to information that can help them adjust to changing market conditions or consumer demands.

● Enhances the most fundamental forms of interpersonal contact.

● Personal and professional connections are made.

How To Improve Your Listening Skills

Here are some powerful tips to improve your listening skills.

Make Consistent Eye Contact

It’s not just about what you say to others; you must learn how to listen to them. In addition, body language has a significant impact.

It’s distracting, to be sure. If you refuse to blink until your interlocutor has finished speaking, you must maintain their gaze at least most of the time. It’s a positive method to convey interest, comprehension, and concentration.

Ask Open Questions

Closed questions are those that can be answered with a straightforward “yes” or “no,” but open questions are intended to elicit responses that are both longer and more reflective.

When you ask someone closed-ended questions, you may be interested in obtaining certain information from that individual. Or that you can only spend a limited amount of time on them. On the other hand, asking open-ended questions demonstrates that you want to have a meaningful conversation and that you are interested in understanding the perspective of the person speaking.

Eliminate Distractions

Hearing and listening are not the same; one is far more important than the other. Even while hearing suggests that you may have truly listened to what someone is saying, it is not necessarily a guarantee that you have given their words your whole attention. Hearing does not necessarily indicate comprehension, just like listening does not.

One must focus on the speaker’s message and ignore all mental diversion in order to fully understand what they are saying.

Non-Verbal Cues

We never rely on just our ears to hear something. A lot of information is communicated through body language and facial expressions when people are communicating. Observe the speaker’s posture, as well as their tone of voice, pitch, and loudness, and pay attention to whether or not they are pacing from one foot to the other.

Based on the speaker’s non-verbal signals, you can tell if they are dishonest or embellishing. You can also tell if they are terrified or uneasy and a variety of other personality qualities that give context to what they are saying.

Don’t Be Judgemental.

When having to listen to someone talk, it’s important to pay attention to your own emotions to see whether you’re picking up on signs like the speaker’s race, sexuality, characteristics, or even the emotional tone of their speech. Therefore, refrain from taking a position or forming an opinion.

You run the risk of missing out on some of the knowledge and potentially creative thoughts that would have otherwise occurred to you when you respond emotionally.

To put it another way, you should pay attention even if you don’t agree with what you hear or the speaker.

Wrapping Up 

Active listening is a powerful tool for increasing collaboration, fostering trust, fostering empathy, fostering mutual understanding, minimizing misunderstandings and boosting productivity. Listening is an essential skill for good leaders. Whether they agree, disagree, or provide an alternative viewpoint or course of action, they take the time to listen attentively to what you have to say.