Say What? I Wanna Talk About Me!

Dog EarsHave you ever had the experience of realizing that the person you were speaking with was simply not listening? 

They might have looked like they were paying attention, but your words were simply going in one ear and out the other. Chances are this left you feeling frustrated and unappreciated, especially if what you were saying was very important.

Listening is a very important communication skill that not everyone has mastered.

Have you ever thought about how well you listen to other people? Perhaps you might be tuning out others without realizing it, causing them to feel like you don’t care what they are saying.

Whether it is in the workplace, with your friends, or in a relationship, being a good listener is a skill that will always be beneficial. It will help you avoid conflict and misunderstanding, resolve issues, and succeed in all aspects of your life.

Here are some helpful tips for becoming a better listener:

  • Don’t interrupt. Let the person finish what they have to say before jumping in to finish their sentences or object. Be patient.
  • Remove distractions. If you find that you are looking at your text messages or surfing the net on your laptop while someone is talking to you, then you are not giving them your full attention. Eliminate these distractions to show them respect.
  • Give eye contact to the person you are speaking with, and watch their face for important non-verbal clues to what they are meaning.
  • To let the person know that you are paying attention, give an occasional nod or say something like, “I see” or “that makes sense.”
  • If you don’t understand something, ask questions to clarify so that you don’t get lost as they assume you know what they mean and start to talk about the topic more.

Practice your listening skills and you will find that being a good listener will improve your personal and professional life in many ways.