How To Be A Good Listener?

“Listening is something we’re very reluctant to do, not because we’re lazy, but because we have never actually been taught how to do it properly, in a way that can be interesting and rewarding for us.

Being a good listener is one of the most important and enchanting life-skills anyone can have. Yet, few of us know how to do it, not because we are evil, but because no one has taught us how and – a related point – few have listened sufficiently well to us. So we come to social life greedy to speak rather than listen, hungry to meet others, but reluctant to hear them. Friendship degenerates into a socialized egoism.

Like most things, the answer lies in education. Our civilization is full of great books on how to speak – Cicero’s Orator and Aristotle’s Rhetoric were two of the greatest in the ancient world – but sadly no one has ever written a book called ‘The Listener’. There is a range of things that the good listener is doing that makes it so nice to spend time in their company. ” http://www.thebookoflife.org/how-to-be-a-good-listener/.

“Steps to improve your listening skills.

1. A good listener is attentive. They make good eye contact, don’t interrupt what the other person is saying and show an interest in what is being communicated. There’s always something incredible you can hear in anyone’s story.

2. A good listener does not look over the shoulder of the person that’s speaking, waiting for someone more interesting to come along.

3. A good listener does not check their phone or tablet in the middle of a conversation when someone is sharing with them.

4. A good listener is not waiting for their chance to get a word in, treating the ‘period of listening’ as a pause in their ‘monologue.’ Being so focused on trying to get one’s view over is insensitive and misses the real value in the conversation.

5. A good listener uses positive body language; leaning forward and showing an enthusiastic, relaxed nature. They don’t fidget, cross arms, look elsewhere or express inappropriate shock or disbelief at what’s shared.

6. A good listener does not hurry somebody but asks good questions to guide the sharing. They guide and help shape what’s being shared, but if the other person feels cut off or squashed they’ve failed.

7. A good listener does not approach a conversation with prejudice, expecting to know what’s going to come out of the speaker’s lips. They don’t listen to a pre-formed opinion but attempt to have an open mind to what’s being communicated. It’s amazing how much time is wasted with the belief that people understand what someone means without taking the effort and time to listen.

8. A good listener cares. They show empathy for what the other person has to say. It’s genuine, authentic and comes from a place of truthful concern.

9. A good listener identifies areas of agreement with the speaker whilst avoiding the cliché statement: “I know exactly how you feel.” Because you don’t. It ends up sounding insensitive, trite or self-centered. Everyone loves to be truly understood. No one likes to be patronized.” http://calebstorkey.com/listening-skills-11-steps-to-become-a-good-listener/

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