2. Select Face-to-face Channels
± Listening is less accurate in the absence of face-to-facecommunication. For example, listening to and understanding ideas correctly over the telephoneare much harder than through a face-to-face meeting. Take the case of calling a restaurant andplacing orders over the telephone for home delivery of a meal. The chances are that your ordersmay not be understood correctly. Therefore, as far as possible, arrange face-to-face contact toensure more accurate listening.
3. Be Open-minded and Avoid Distractions
± Listening is an exhausting activity whichrequires the right attitude and mindset. You have to focus your attention completely on what thespeaker is saying, without letting your mind wander. This kind of concentration can bedeveloped through various techniques and through constant practice. In addition, it is alsoimportant to rid yourself of the notion that you have nothing new to learn from the other person.Even if it is a subject about which you may be knowledgeable, the speaker may offer a differentperspective or point of view. Therefore it is important to listen actively.
4. Use Nonverbal Cues to Indicate Active Listening
± It is important to communicate to thespeaker that you are listening actively to what he is saying. This can be done even withoutverbal communication. All the different aspects of nonverbal communication discussed earlier should be used for maximum effect. For example, maintaining steady eye contact with thespeaker, sitting up with an erect posture, nodding now and then to show appreciation andunderstanding and appropriate facial expressions are some of the ways in which your nonverbalcommunication can indicate that you are involved in what the speaker is saying.
. Use Verbal Communication to Indicate Active Listening
± While nonverbal behavior byitself can communicate that you are an active listener, it is also important to engage in verbalcommunication with the speaker. Silence is often interpreted as lack of understanding or attention. You need to seek clarifications, give feedback and suggestions, or just paraphrase inyour own words what the speaker has said, in order to convey that you have understood hismessage.
6. Listen First Before Responding
± Always let yourself finish listening before you begin tospeak. Avoid the tendency to formulate your own response, even before you have listenedcompletely to the speaker¶s words. If you are too busy thinking about what to say next, you maymiss the main point that the speaker is trying to make. This also gives the speaker theimpression that you are preoccupied or rude.
7. Use the Speaker listener Gap Constructively
It was pointed out earlier that
listeners havethe ability to absorb information faster than speakers¶ rate of speech
. This spare timeavailable to listeners is often misused by letting the mind wander and is one of the physiologicalbarriers to listening. One way of overcoming this barrier is to try to use this spare time to notedown what the speaker has said, review what has been said so far and anticipate what he maysay next. Thinking ahead of the speaker and trying to guess where his talk is leading is a goodstrategy for effective listening. This is not easy, but can be learnt through proper training.