Talking can be exhausting, but listening is golden. A listener tends to pay attention to what another person is saying and may not be listening because they want to reply except it is asked of them directly.
Being a good listener requires paying serious attention to details in order to fully grasp what the other person is talking about. It is only by understanding a statement, speech or story that any meaningful reply can be given.
There are many ways to become a good listener, so this list is inexhaustible. Here are five (5) tips that can help you become a better listener at any given time if you assimilate these cues into your listening culture –
1) Look People in the Eye
Looking people in the eye (not staring at them) is a good way to grab their attention and make them go into details when talking to you. When you actually look them in the eyes when they are speaking, they will know you are paying attention.
2) Ask Open-ended and Follow Up Questions
But, don’t try to make it look awkward. Try breaking it intermittently so as not to appear like you are just staring sheepishly.
This will allow the person speaking to elaborate more on what they are talking about or fill in gaps where necessary to help you understand their point of view more easily.
3) Speak Only After the Other Person is Done Talking
This is very important. Always allow the speaker to finish before you say anything. This is because most people don’t do speech rehearsals in private discussions and may easily forget what they wanted to say before you interrupted them halfway.
4) Observe Your Listening and Speaking Ratio in Conversations
It is important that you don’t talk too much but only speak about what is relevant to the discuss at any point in time.
This will help you keep track of what you are saying in order to avoid off point statements.
5) Watch for Nonverbal Cues
Nonverbal cues are equally part of the conversation whether or not you notice it.
Hand movements, facial expressions, etc, all form part of cues during interactions. Not paying attention to this may make you to miss a joke, sarcasm or when the other person is no longer interested in continuing the conversation.
In conclusion, there are a lot of things that comes to mind when listening. Since you are not in the other persons mind, it is imperative that you try as much as possible to make them help you understand what they are talking about. It takes two to tango.