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Becoming an Effective Listener

And a better person

Many of my clients raise the topic: How do I become an effective listener? The answer although long-winded, is simple. In this blog post, I will cover the predicates for listening, the myths about listening, the process of listening and types of listening. I will offer the reader systematic suggestions on how to become a more effective listener.

You must consider the following:

  • How you think about listening
  • How you feel about listening
  • What you do about listening

How you Think about Listening

Although the three characteristics above go hand-in-hand with one another, the cognitive side of listening is indeed the best place to begin. It's important to note that effective listening takes effort on your part - however it does require you to think hard,

Firstly, you must know the underlying complexities of listening. It's a skill that we often take for granted, but one that is extremely useful. Because we take it for granted however, we don't work toward improving it. We can improve this skill by understanding the myths surrounding listening. This process involves more than simply receiving messages. Recoognising the different types of listening required to be effective will help direct your attention toward the right type of listening required for your set circumstance.

It's commonly known that many people overlook challenging their listening abilities. Since media nowadays does not require careful listening, it makes it hard to improve on the listening abilities we already have. You have to stretch to grow. To do this, force yourself to listen carefully to anything that requires your concentration. Good listeners never allow themselves to be trapped into thinking that any communication is parallel to another in every situation.

How you Feel about Listening

Possession of the sharpest mind will fail to make you a good listener if the intended feelings are wrong. Ultimately, what you feel about listening is incredibly important.

One of the fundamentals is to want to listen. This simply means that you must hold the proper intent to listen. Don't feel forced, as you seldom lacks enjoyment and understanding. Sometimes it's merely a case of not wanting to listen. This is a time when you must be a critical listener. This can be done by admitting your biases. These biases are natural - it important to filter said biases, by not allowing them to taint our understanding of the individual's message.

Stay focused. Put yourself in the individual's shoes. Try to see their point of view, and empathise with attitude on their given subject. In doing this, review what they have said and try to summarise the message as the speaker would - listen as though you are going to be required to relay this message to family and friends.

What You do About Listening

To acquire skillful listening, it has to involve both how we think and how we feel about listening - it's fundamental. These charactersistics are crucial to forming the psychomotor element of listening. To achieve this result, one must avoid negative mannerisms. We all express different mannerisms. It's important that your mannerisms do not result in negative reactions. Your mannerisms must therefore be encouraging And elicit positive responses.

Ultimately, aim to be the kind of listener you want others to be when you are talking. Always ask yourself:

How would I want others to listen to me? How would they portray this?

That's truly how to be an effective listener.

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