You might not know this already, but being a good listener goes beyond just staring at your speaker and watching him or her talk. It involves a number of other activities and verbal/nonverbal cues that help to assure your speaker that they have your attention.
Being a good listener is just as important to communication as talking itself. In this article, we’ll be giving you a number of tips to help you become a great listener, whether it’s at work or at home.
Listen with your whole body
There are certain things that you do with your body when you are listening, and you’re interested in the conversation. They include leaning in towards the person if you’re sitting at a table. Alongside that, you should also nod when you agree and use hand gestures to show you’re following the conversation. Not only is it polite, but it is also reassuring.
Maintain eye contact
Some might say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. The presence of them can reveal many things. If you’re looking at your speaker in the eye while s/he talks, then you’re showing obvious signs that you’re listening. If, however, you stare off into space, you’ll put doubt in your speaker’s heart, and he/she might be inclined to end the conversation.
Granted, some people can take a while to talk and express themselves. But it’s usually not that much of their fault. Some people just can’t help it. So, as much as you can, try to be patient with these people and don’t interrupt.
Your speaker isn’t just looking to talk to a brick wall. Sometimes, they want someone who’ll empathize with them. You can be that someone. The easiest way to do this is by putting yourself in their shoes. Even if their problems seem silly to you, pretend that you are them, living their life for a second and try to imagine how you would feel under the same circumstances. Then, react based on that.
Do not let yourself get interrupted
Can you imagine how annoying it would be if you’re talking to someone about something important and they keep letting their phone get in the way of the conversation? Imagine that after every three sentences, their phone beeps, and they glance down. That’s exactly how you’ll seem if you let yourself get distracted by your phone. If it happens once, don’t let it happen twice.