It is often said that the best communicators are those who spend more time listening than speaking. People like to talk, and like to feel that they are being taken seriously. If you listen to people, they feel that you respect them, and are interested in what they have to say. They will be happier to share ideas and information with you, and are more likely to be co-operative.

It is the province of knowledge to speak. And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.

Steps to becoming a good listener :
Listening is about more than just keeping your mouth shut

A good listener will do more than just keep quiet. Effective listening is about actively encouraging the other person to talk meaningfully about the topic under discussion. You should: 1 Encourage the speaker to speak. 2 Keep the conversation going until the relevant points have been covered. 3 Ask relevant questions to ensure that you have gained all the information you need, and that the speaker has said everything he or she needs to say. You can encourage the speaker by Making good eye contact, Adopting positive body language, Allowing the speaker to speak without interruption,

you tend to concentrate harder. in the listener¶s own words. If you know you will have to repeat something in your own words. Give the speaker more time if you are having trouble understanding. . and then repeats. It avoids misunderstandings. It tends to encourage the speaker to say more. Active listening has several benefits. The listener concentrates fully on what the speaker is saying. The purpose of this is to ensure that both the speaker and listener know that the speaker has been understood. The listener does not have to agree with what is being said. but must make it clear what he or she understands is being said.Concentrating on what the speaker has to say. It forces you to listen attentively to the speaker. Active Listening ± For Better Communication Active listening is a technique for listening and responding that focuses attention on the speaker. Asking relevant questions (but not by µbutting in¶). as you have to confirm that you really do understand what the speaker has said. what he or she thinks the speaker has said.

multiple studies have been conducted with different populations on how much time is spent on listening and communicating. It is thought that almost 2/3 of our time is spent listening! Benefits of Active Listening ‡Respect and Trust ‡Enhances our Relationships ‡Conflict Resolution ‡Cultivates Positive Work Environment ‡Wins Friends ‡Confidence ‡Reduces Negative Assumptions .What is Listening? ‡Hearing ‡Receiving sound through the air without REAL effort ‡Listening ‡Making sense of what is heard ‡Actual meaning oriented In the U.S.

phone calls ‡Fidgeting / Clock watching ‡Time pressure. appearance ‡Loud noises ‡Room temperature (too hot / too cold) ‡Interruptions. eyebrows) ‡Hand gestures . cheeks.Barriers to Effective Listening Internal Barriers: ‡Hearing what you want to hear ‡Biased listening ‡³Hot Buttons´ and the Effects of Emotions on Listening ‡Semantic Barriers External Barriers ‡Talker not speaking loudly enough ‡Talker¶s mannerisms. deadline Non-Verbal Listening Cues ‡Listen with your eyes! ‡Be aware of: ‡Facial expressions (face color & how it changes. mouth. movement of lips.

and continually check in with yourself to make sure you are JUST LISTENING! Essentials of Active Listening! 1.Put the person at ease²Give them space and time and permission to speak (Relax) 3.Remove distractions²Be willing to turn off TV. Empathize with the person²look at the situation from their point of view. etc. space. Focus on yourself²Are you ready to listen? 2. . nod when you can agree. non verbal cues.Stop talking²You can¶t talk and listen at the same time! 2. 5.Show the person that you want to hear them±Look at them. ask them to explain further. rate. 4. Listen to yourself²Where is your mind today? 3. subtle variations in tone of voice What makes a good listener? The Effective Listener! 1.‡Body positioning/movements ‡Personal Space ‡Pitch. Pay attention to the environment.

Summarizing the conversation 15.6. or disagree 9. You might say ³These seem to be the main points you have made«´. not the person.Be patient²some people take longer to find the right word (don¶t interrupt) 7. when he or she has finished speaking. 10. 14. 12. or ³So. Watch your own emotions (facial expressions) 8. Restate what you hear! Paraphrase what you heard.Reflecting²Reflect speakers words in terms of feelings. to summarise what you want me to do«´ ««««««««««««««««««««««««««««««««««« . I messages²Focuses on the problem. argue. Ask open ended questions! Summarising You summarise what the speaker has just said by briefly pulling all the important facts together. Validation²listen openly and acknowledge persons ability to talk about a difficult problem 13. Don¶t criticize. Minimal Encouragers²brief prompts² Oh? 11.

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