What is effective listening?
Believe it or not, an effective listener has a great potential to be successful in all kinds of communications – at work, at home, and in personal relationships.
Effective listening is the ability to focus on the conversation and to truly understand what the other side wants to tell you. You are a responsive and engaging participant in the conversation.
A good listener knows how to respond accurately because he understands the content and the purpose of the communication. To be a good listener you have to develop many skills and use effective communication techniques.
In this context, effective listening skills are a combination of abilities that allows you to concentrate and to understand the speaker’s points and thoughts.
You have to show interest in the discussed topic.
Effective listening skills:
- Listen with care
Stay concentrated on the topic and listen with care. Avoid distraction and don’t think about other things during the conversation.
A good communication technique here is to look at the speaker. Watching the speaker will show him/her that you really pay attention. Other effective communication techniques here are to talk less and to listen more. Give the other speaker a chance to say what he needs to say. Don’t interrupt him.
- Ask question
This is among the most important effective listening skills needed for all kinds of communications. Asking questions shows your partner that you are really involved in the conversation.
Asking questions will give you more information about the topic discussed and will allow you to clarify what you don’t understand.
- Try to see speaker’s perspective
This means to put yourself emotionally in the speaker’s point of view. This is one of the most powerful and effective communication techniques that will allow you to understand the idea and message of the speaker.
- Be patient
Being patient is among the most important communication and effective listening skills. Patience allows you to see the needs of the people you communicate with.
People around us are really very different. Some of our business clients, partners, managers, and employees are very vocal about their needs and requirements, other people are more introverted.
Patience is a good skill and effective communication technique that will help you to adjust to different situations.
- Pay attention to body language of the speaker
You have to pay attention not only to words but to the body language of the speaker too. In a business or a personal conversation, a wide range of gestures are involved. Learning to understand body language (non-verbal communication) is a great ability for every leader, manager, or employee.
Learning and developing these effective listening skills and effective communication techniques has a key role for success in all areas of business and personal relationships.
See also good and active listening skills.