Today we will be learning about effective listening and how we can incorporate it into our daily lives to create a better relationship between those who we communicate with and ourselves. Being an effective listener is not an easy feat to achieve, however when we put in the effort to practice sincerely listening the rewards will be profound.
First let’s examine a few examples of poor listening
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and found that you zoned out or even stoped listing? If so why do you think this happened?
In most cases we might find that whatever the other person is saying isn't rely that important to us, perhaps we've heard the same thing being said over and over again and we can’t be bothered listening to it again, am I right?. Whatever the case may be you'll notice that whatever takes our attention away from the current conversation is more important to us then the conversation at hand.
The sad thing is although the conversation is trivial to us, I can assure you that whoever's doing the talking it's an extremely important topic to them.
Let’s turn the tables and put the shoe on the other foot, let’s look at it from the other person’s perspective.
Imagine that we're doing the talking and the person we're communicating with isn't listing to a word we're saying, how does this make us feel? Let’s stop and think about all the times this has happened to us.
Knowing what it feels like when someone’s not listening to us, how do you think we could remedy this situation?
We’re sitting on the couch across the living room having a conversation with a family member but at the same time were multitasking, Eg. We’re watching TV, or perhaps reading a book or doing another task that takes our attention away from the current conversation. Have you ever been in this situation before? If you have don’t worry because I have too.
Although were listing, it’s not quite good enough to pass as effective listening. Have you ever heard the expression “It’s like talking to a brick wall”? Now I wonder where that came from, The best thing that we can do when talking to someone is to stop doing every thing else and just listen.
A great method to use when engaging in a conversation is to respond to questions and not react to them. If you find yourself not listing be honest, say sorry I was not listening, This won't offend the person your talking to but it will add to your credibility of being a great listener.
When I say respond and not react I mean give your reply some thought,
Example of reacting: Question "How has your day been?" We reply "Great". In most cases this is a generic reply with no thought put into it.
Example of responding: "How has your day been?" We reply "Great I went to the beach, played some guitar and worked on my Blog." When we respond we must consider what's being said and think about the subject before replying.
Try this next time your talking to someone.
When you're being asked a question or listening to a statement see if you can catch yourself thinking about how you're going to reply. If you find you self doing this just say "sorry I wasn't listing, can you repeat that last part". If were thinking of our response then we're not rely listening are we?
Lest see how we go, lets get out there and practice some great effective listening.
Feel free to leave your thoughts and experience's below in the comments section or perhaps you would like to return to the Main Blog?.
Thank you and have a great day