Tuesday, April 19, 2011



Tips to Improve your Listening Skills :

Etiquette and polish, both in personal and business settings, are linked to how well we communicate.

Most people think communication is all about speaking and devalue the importance of listening. And many others don't realise what a vast difference there is between simply hearing what is being said and really listening.
People who know how to listen learn more, care more, and end up being the ones we want to be around socially as well as professionally.
Want to improve your listening skills?
Understand why you need to listen and remember to practise these tips the next time you conduct a conversation.

Are your eyes listening?

Your eyes are a dead giveaway if you are not listening. When your mind wanders and you begin thinking of something or someone else, your eyes show your disinterest. And the person speaking to you is well aware that you are not paying attention. And this is true even if you don't look away. Blank stares don't conceal boredom!

How can you know if you are a bad listener?
A good listener uses his/ her eyes and mind while listening.
If you find yourself already formulating your next sentence in your mind while someone is speaking to you, you are doing injustice to the conversation. You will get more out of the conversation if you understand, comprehend and assimilate what is being said BEFORE responding.
Good etiquette = listening!

Do you make these common listening mistakes?

The difference between being a good listener versus a great listener is using your heart in addition to your eyes and mind while listening.
Do you do this?
  • If a friend tells you something is wrong, you immediately tend to give advice or criticism.
  • If a friend tells you about something wonderful that has happened, you usually chip in with something similar that you have experienced.
Rarely do we share joy or sympathise with pain. Rarely do we just let others speak. To improve your listening skills, practise with those closest to you. When family members or friends share their thoughts and feelings, curtail the urge to relate what you hear to one of your own.

What if a conversation bores you?

I believe 'interested people are interesting'.
Similarly, 'boring people get bored'.
You don't need to know a lot about a subject to have a conversation. You just need to have a desire to learn, understand and make things interesting.
For example, if someone tells you they are a teacher, instead of saying, "That's nice," and moving on to the next topic, try to find out why they are teaching, how they decided on this profession and what their current thoughts on teaching are.
Dig deep and create meaningful conversations.

How do I get others to listen to me?

  1. Listen more intently, question more, and speak with emotion. Build interesting conversations instead of one-way lectures.
  2. Engage people while you speak. Ask questions like, "What do you think?" or "Do you agree?"

    Try not to speak continuously for long periods. People tend to have short attention spans.
  3. When you do not listen to what others are saying and only care to listen to your own voice, this is an indication that you really do not care for other people's opinions.
Think about who you really enjoy being around, at work or in your personal life. Usually it is those who really listen and care about you. Are you listening?
"We forget that forgiveness is greater than revenge. People make mistakes. We are allowed to make mistakes. But the actions we take while in a rage will haunt us forever.


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