Now, more than ever before, the act of listening is important. Not only is it important to listen to someone, but to effectively listen to them. Sure, we all know that in order to understand individuals, to connect with them and understand their wants and needs, we need to be alert, focused, and mindful. After all, the power of listening—effective listening—will help you get more information from clients, increase their trust and commitment in you, and reduce conflict and misunderstanding.
Below, we’ve included more information on the power of listening, and tips on how to be a better listener.
What It Means To Listen
We don’t need to give you a textbook definition of listening; you already know what it means. However, it is necessary to point out that the act of listening and actually comprehending what a person is saying can lead to strong, healthy, and thriving relationships—all very important qualities in any type of relationships, specifically a business one.
If you don’t believe us, think about the last time you were having a conversation with someone and felt as if you weren’t being heard. How did that make you feel? How did that affect the relationship? Did it make you feel valued?
According to Dr. Carl Rogers, a psychologist, active listening is a specific communication skill. Giving free and undivided attention to a speaker through active listening is the most effective way to achieve individual change and group development.
Isn’t that the ultimate goal? Whether the relationship is professional or personal, don’t you want to establish a solid, mutual ground of respect? It’s the only way for both parties to succeed.
If your listening skills are in need of a little tune up, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! We’ve put together a list of different ways to help you become a better listener.
Tips On Becoming A Better Listener
If you truly want to become a better listener, then consider implementing these tips into your daily life.
Understand The Benefits
First, it’s imperative to understand that listening to someone is beneficial to both the person doing the talking and you. Nothing bad or negative comes from listening to another person speak, but the complete opposite. Remember, if you thoroughly listen to an individual, it’s more likely that same individual will listen to you when it becomes your turn to speak. The partnership the two of you are hoping to grow can only be successful with mutual listening.
Make Eye Contact
Next, when someone is speaking to you, always make eye contact. This tactic not only shows respect, but it will also help you focus on the other person’s words, what he or she is saying and how they feel.
When sharing a conversation with someone, make sure there are no distractions. Obviously, this means you need to put down your phone and give the speaker your full attention. Don’t worry about what’s going on around you; don’t think about your next meeting or what you plan to have for lunch. Listen, engage, and show the person talking that you care.
One of the best ways to show the speaker that you are really listening to them, is to ask them questions. Make sure you fully understand what they’re saying by verifying their wants, needs, and/or concerns with specific questions.
Remember, nothing bad comes from listening—only good. The next time someone is speaking, consider opening up your eyes, ears, and mind just a little bit more. In doing so, you will gain the full benefits of the power of listening.