Listening is an art and those who learn to master the skill optimize the ability to go far in career and life.
It has happened to us all at one point or time in our lives where we were describing our day or speaking about a particular meaningful aspect of our life and other person is not paying attention. They are on their phone or surveying the area or day dreaming themselves. We can feel frustrated realizing this person is acting like they do not care. Yes, the person we are communicating with is giving off the vibe of “they don’t care.” However, they care, but unfortunately they have learned the art of listening.
Below are 5 Tips for Listening Success in your career and relationships.
- Make Eye Contact. Sounds simple enough, however, many are unable to do this. Now I am not writing that you stare them down as they talk to you. You do not need to be a creeper. Provide enough eye contact in order for the other person to be heard.
- Use non-verbable Communication. Give a head nod or show emotion depending on mood of the conversation. Do not fold your arms when someone is talking because it is a universal body language signal that you are closed off to that person. True, you may actually not want to hear them. However, it is better to give them the respect and decency of hearing them out before you cut them down with a response.
- Pause your Thoughts or Answer. Often we think that when a person begins to discuss their problems with us that we need to be the Super Hero and save the day. Chances are if you attempt this then you will likely be the villain. Sure, your answer could be the correct one and it may even save the whole world however in that moment the person speaking with you may not desire your wisdom. I typically may ask the person discussing a matter with me if they just want me to listen or desire an answer. It may feel strange or awkward but it is extremely effective.
- Seek First to Understand. Yes this is from Steven Covey and it is an outstanding tip. It is not about you in this moment it concerns understanding the other person. Often when a person is attempting to speak with us, we can take their words and twist them. Or take what they are saying personally, which is easy to do if we feel the other person is criticizing us. Maybe they are. Nevertheless, their words are coming a place of concern for us and if we brush them off then we miss the point. A good rule of thumb is remember that everyone interprets the world and everything in it through their experiences and family values. Seek first to understand.
- Treat the other person as the most important person alive. Why? Because they are. They are the only one talking to you at that moment and they are important. When you do this (it does take practice) you will notice a difference in how people respond to you. We love talk about ourselves, therefore, if you listen to others then you will be a popular person. Few ever develop the art of listening. Earl Nightingale said, “People who are interesting are people who are interested.”
Become interested in others and you will be an interesting person to everyone.