When it comes to the art of keeping effective conversations, proper feedbacks and subsequently nice social interactions, speaking and good content is necessary. However, most of us take for granted the benefits of being a good listener and the positive impact that we can generate if we actually focus on what others have to say.
Believe or not, listening is something you can actually develop and it takes so little of you. Active listening requires you to be fully in the moment, this goodness can take to a more human and kind state. Since is all about building connection, understanding and trust are the basic ingredients you need, learning the art of being a good listener help you to join worthy friendships. So, our first step is to comprehend that what the other person is saying, is not just a group of random words, there is actually a whole background that allows the orator to choose those exactly words in the message they’re trying to share with you.
Where to start?
Come and go with the idea of the person:
In order to vigorously participate in the active listening recap every so often what you think the person said by paraphrasing what you heard in your own word. This assistance is very useful in the case you are been asked for an advice. You do not need to sound like a broken record, try by saying: “let me see if I get this straight…” or “you are saying that…?”. This also very important when you get lost or you get confuse, bringing together the facts and pieces of the problem to check understanding is an accurately way of manifesting yourself as a good listener. Take into account that improving your listening skills requires fully understanding but also commitment.
Do your best to fully understand:
Getting involve in social common conversations can be effectively achieve when you actually seem and want to know more about the message you are receiving. Therefore, simple small sentences such as: “So it sounds to me as if . . .” or, “Is that it?”. On the other hand, if the conversation does not lead you to any interrogative intervention, try by using brief and positive reminders, just to keep the conversation going. This small sounds (it does not necessarily have to be words) can easily help you or give you time to participate in any point of the conversation, plus it shows you are listening. Therefore, by adding some “um” or “hmm”, “Oh?” “I understand,” “Then?” “And?” you can be actively present in the dialogue.
Take into account that part of learning the art of being an outstanding listener is the fact that is not always about you. Sometimes repeating or making sounds would not be enough to fully understand or keep the conversation flowing. From time to time you should reflect that what the other person is sharing with you is actually important for you and for them. Lines like, “This seems really important to you. . .” can enormously improve your active listening. People would feel more comfortable with telling you things.
Last but never least. Remember that conversation require two interlocutors. When it comes your turn, be honest and let the person know what your initial thoughts are on the situation, try to share pertinent information other observations, and insights. Then listen carefully what the other has to say, if the flow leads you to positive answers, you can also share personal experiences that are relate with the topic of the discussion.
Try by making approaches of what kind of feelings are in the conversation. Words that express what the other has to say can often help a person to see things more objectively. Listening actively but accurately means that you are able to experience what the conversation about, so sentences like: “I am guessing that you’re feeling frustrated, nervous, happy about…” can definitely take your social skill to another level.
Empathy can help you to ask them valuable question in different scenarios. By drawing the person out of the reality you can actually get meaningful information and actually know your interlocutor’s perception. “What do you think would happen if you. . .?” or “ what would you do if…?” are nice options to start hypothesis.
To sum up never underestimate the power of visual contact. Eye contact is considered a basic ingredient of effective communication, so whether is for courtesy, eye contact is also a sing of caring to your interlocutor, therefore, put aside phones or any other distractions. And remember that just because the might not do it back you should look at them, do it anyways. Nevertheless, look away every now and then and stay relaxed. There is no need to make it awkward the main idea is to be attentive.