Most people only remember 25 to 50% of a few sentences that they hear from the person they are talking to and don’t pay attention to their listening skills. If you are engaged in a 10 minute conversation, then most likely you will only remember 1 to 2 percent complete details of what you talked about. That’s how impaired people’s listening and remembering is. And what most people don’t know is that listening skills play an important role in helping to improve communication because when you listen attentively, you are using your empathy skills. This is where you put yourself into someone else’s shoes and try to understand the feeling of the they are trying to relay to you at that time.
Take Time to Improve Listening Skills
Communicating effectively means honing and sharpening your listening skills and this is only possible by becoming sensitive of how others feel when they speak. The first thing that you need to practice is to take the time to listen. When somebody is speaking, learn the art of keeping your silence and just focus on what the other person is saying. There are times when you’re in a hurry and you find it hard to understand what a person is saying whether it be a friend, family member, a colleague or even an event speaker. When this happens, teach yourself to pause and take a moment to listen. Practicing this will help you become more respectful of others especially when they’re speaking and have some valuable information for you.
More often than not, lack of concentration hinders a person to listen attentively. Sharpening your listening skills by being attentive and keeping your focus on the speaker will help you hone your communication skill as a whole. There will always be distractions around, and oftentimes, counter arguments to surface especially when you do not like what the person is explaining. This shouldn’t be a reason for you to skip the listening part and begin to speak out your side of the story without waiting for the other person to finish. Remember, listening is also about giving others their right to say what they have to say. Do not make uncalled for statements and comments, you might end up making a fool of yourself.
Improving Listening Skills
In line with sharpening your listening ability is the practice of listening with an open mind. Hearing a story based on another person’s point of view is different both in impact and influence, unlike when you approach the topic using your own understanding and viewpoint. As you listen, don’t just do it for the sake of listening but listen with an open mind and try to understand deeply what the other person has to say. It is only through this that you will begin to appreciate the complete message. Finally, you have to remember that it’s not always about you. When you train yourself to listen, the spotlight isn’t focused on you, it’s on the speaker. So don’t steal the spotlight. Listening effectively and attentively can only be achieved if you follow the above-mentioned tips. It won’t be easy at the outset, but if you will open yourself up to the real essence of improving listening skills you will be sure to get the gist of it in no time.