Listening is an important skill to develop. It is easy to confuse listening with hearing. It is important to listen carefully at work, school, home, and in social situations. This allows people to learn and really connect with others. It will also allow you to make fewer mistakes and get the job done right the first time. To do this, you must learn to listen more often than you speak.
Method 1 of 3: Give Your Full Attention
Step 1. Make eye contact
Stand in front of the person speaking to you. Don't look over your shoulder or at the ground. Not making eye contact can seem rude and impersonal. Relax and make your eye contact seem natural.
Step 2. Don't get distracted
Don't be distracted by other things that happen in that space or with other people talking. The most important thing is that you are not distracted by your own thoughts while the other person is speaking. Give your full attention to the person speaking to you.
Save your cell phone. If your cell phone tempts you a lot, consider putting it on silence or turning it off to listen to the other person
Step 3. Show interest and enthusiasm
Listen carefully and show your enthusiasm for what the other person tells you. Use your body language to let him know that you hear what he is saying. This reduces the chances that you will have to say something and helps you speak less. For the speaker, it is very evident when his audience does not listen carefully.
- Nod your head or smile sincerely to show that you are listening. You don't have to use words to let him know that you are really listening to him.
- Things like raising an eyebrow and leaning slightly towards him show that you are interested in the subject and that you are listening to it.
Method 2 of 3: Practice listening to others
Step 1. Be open-minded
Don't start a conversation with a preconceived opinion about what the other person will say. When you go with an opinion formed, you prepare to speak rather than listen. Open your mind to the information that the other person gives you and you will be forced to listen more than to speak.
Step 2. Remember what the other person tells you
If appropriate, use the information he told you during a conversation. This will let them know that you were listening to them the last time they chatted. It will make her feel important and respected. Most importantly, you can show her that you were really listening by mentioning a bit of your previous conversation.
For example, let's say you hear a co-worker talk about a great restaurant in town. After going to the restaurant, tell your coworker, “I went to the restaurant you recommended. It was excellent! Thanks for the recommendation"
Step 3. Feel and imagine what the other person tells you
If he is telling you a story, try to really imagine and feel what he tells you. If he talks to you about something sad, feel his sadness. If he talks to you about something joyful, feel his joy. This will allow you to listen more carefully and will help you remember what he is saying to you.
Step 4. Leave room for silence in conversation
Silence in conversation is not always a bad thing. Just because there has been a moment of silence doesn't mean you have to fill it with words. A pause in the conversation may allow you to think more before continuing the conversation. Get comfortable with silence and use this time to feel and understand what the other person said to you.
Step 5. Use words infrequently
Only speak up when you have something new and profound to add to the conversation. Instead of responding as soon as there is a pause in the conversation, pause for a moment and think about whether you should say something. Even if you do, the pause can show that you are listening and help you speak a little less.
Method 3 of 3: Know when to speak
Step 1. Don't interrupt
Follow the basic principles of conversation that you were taught as a child. Don't interrupt the person speaking when they haven't finished a sentence yet. This includes interrupting her to finish her sentence. When you are the listener, you just have to listen.
Don't finish her sentences, even if you know what she's going to say. Let me complete your ideas
Step 2. Ask to understand in more depth what he is saying
A good reason to speak when you are listening is to ask. Use the questions to have more conversation or to understand more deeply what the other person is saying. Make sure to wait until there is a pause in the conversation so you don't interrupt it.
Avoid misleading the other person by asking a question that will bring them off topic. If you must ask him something, be sure to return the conversation to the original topic
Step 3. Avoid listening just to get a chance to speak
You won't listen carefully if you just wait for your chance to speak. On the contrary, you think about what you are going to say. You could miss important parts of the conversation and maybe even repeat something that has already been said.
- Practice your listening skills in order to improve them.
- Observe people who you consider to have good listening skills and imitate their techniques.