10 Ways to Become a Better Listener
Listening is a vital communication skill which few people seem to possess and even lesser seem to give adequate importance to. People are so taken up with themselves that they hardly have the urge to listen to others. But if you are not one of them and want to become a better listener, here are some tips to start you off.
1. Cultivate empathy
Therapeutic listening can go a long way in solving problems but you need to have empathy for that. Don’t just sit there with a vacant expression as if the speaker’s words mean nothing to you. Try to put yourself in his/her shoes and then listen.
2. Mind your body language
Non verbal cues are much more important than empty words. So, give the occasional nod or smile to let the speaker know you are still with him. Don’t just let your shoulders droop or start yawning the moment the other person starts talking. That would be worse than kicking the person out.
3. Shut up and listen
Women are often labeled as a chatterbox. So next time, remember that you are the listener and instead of interrupting the other guy at every instance, try to shut up your mouth for some time and be attentive.
4. Encourage others to open up
Some words of encouragement from your side can make the other person comfortable and confident to open up his/her heart to you. Prod the speaker to continue and keep reassuring him/her that all would be well.
5. Avoid negativity
Don’t be a prick and demoralize the other person with your negativity. If you don’t want to listen, it’s better to say that on the person’s face than constantly making disparaging remarks and crushing the speaker with your negativity.