Listening Skills Guide: To develop Effective And Active Listening Skills
Listening is a skill that can be developed. The following are the guidelines for developing good listening skills :
1. Be Interested :
Show good interest and desire to listen. This will help you to avoid distraction, and pay proper attention to the speaker’s address or message.
2. Be Prepared :
The listener must be well prepared for the talk or discussion. The listener must do a good homework, if needed. Arrive in time for the talk. Sit at comfortable place and distance. Make proper arrangements to take down notes, if need be.
3. Stop Talking :
The most important guideline to effective listening is to stop talking with others near you. It not only distracts other listeners, but may also put the speaker in discomfort.
4. Concentrate :
A good listener must exercise mental discipline over himself. Concentrate on what the speaker says. Do not get distracted by the physical appearance of the speaker or some other disturbance. Only when you concentrate properly, you can listen well.
5. Avoid Distraction :
Do not create distractions such as fiddling with pen, notebook, tapping the floor, looking out of window, etc. Do not crack jokes at the speaker, or participate in such cheap acts.
6. Put the Speaker at Ease :
The listener should make the speaker comfortable. Through the use of body language such as positive nodding of head, eye contact with the speaker, positive facial expressions, or such other positive signs would put the speaker at ease. This would enable the speaker to express his views, ideas and opinions more clearly and convincingly.
7. Be Open-minded :
Be in a positive frame of mind. Avoid preconceived notions about the topic and of the speaker. Don’t let your prejudices, beliefs, attitudes, ideas and values feel threatened and insulted, so that you close your mind to what the speaker has say. Try to respect the viewpoint of those with whom you disagree. You have to keep in mind that you may be wrong.
8. Avoid Contradiction :
You should avoid contradictions of what the speaker has to say. Avoid saying stuffs like” This makes no sense “,” This is utterly rubbish “, ” I think you are wrong “. Such contradictions may put the speaker in discomfort and may discourage him from speaking effectively.
9. Avoid Interruptions :
You should avoid unnecessary interruptions. You may interrupt only when it is really necessary. For instance, speaker may go of the track, i.e., he may keep the main topic side-ways and divert to some other topic, or there may be too much emphasis on certain points, or there may be a need for an example for clarity, then the listener may interrupt the speaker.
10. Empathize with the Speaker :
The listener should try to empathize with the speaker. The listener should place himself in the position of the speaker, and try to share, the emotions, feelings and thoughts of the speaker. This would make the speaker to be more comfortable and he would be in a better position to express his views and ideas.
11. Listen to the Main Points :
You should listen to the main points. You must discriminate between main points and supplementary points and also between an idea and an example. Do not think over too much over one point that has just been made by the speaker, as this will prevent you from paying attention to subsequent points or matter.
12. Take Notes :
You may make a brief notes of the important points or examples, especially when the message is essential to you. But avoid taking down too much of notes – i.e., anything and everything, which the speaker says, as you may not be able to pay attention to what the speaker tries to empathize. Making notes has an advantage as it helps you to concentrate and forces you to try to understand what is being said. The notes can also be used for reference. The speaker may be motivated as well.
13. Summarize and Evaluate :
The listener must summarize and evaluate the views expressed by the speaker. Such evaluation will help the speaker to check that he has understood the views or ideas expressed by the speaker, which in turn would enable to take proper decisions.
14. Provide Feedback :
Provide feedback to the speaker. You may discuss an important point made by the speaker. However, do not over praise the speaker, as some speaker do not like over praising, and they may think it otherwise.
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Be A GOOD LISTENER 👍