So how do we become better listeners?
1. Remove or avoid distractions – We are all guilty (me included!) of having our smartphone glued to us, with one eye on the screen whilst pretending to fully listen to somebody. Get rid of the smartphone, turn the TV or laptop off and concentrate on the person in front of you. Maybe go for a walk, so thedistractions are nowhere in sight.
2. Pay attention to the person who is talking and maintain good eye contact. Good listeners show genuine interest by asking probing questions and more importantly, they don’t interrupt or offer solutions, mid conversation.
3. Think about your body language – face the person who is talking, it shows them that you are interested and willing to listen.
4. Wait until the person has finished talking before commenting, because they may just want to sound off to somebody.
5. Be honest with the other person – If you are tired or in a rush, ask them if you can continue the conversation later, so you can properly focus on listening to them.
6. If you are asked for advice, think before you speak. Use personal examples or situations that you have been in and offer suggestions, which you think many help them.
7. Remember that we all express our emotions in very different ways, so try not to judge people, whilst you’re listening.
Always remember to be honest and empathetic, but most of all be kind, it goes a long way.
Oax Life Coaching