- By Dwaipayan, 15 April 2021 | 6 MIN READ
Active listening skills happen when you concentrate on what is being said rather than what the speaker is trying to convey.
The objective of active listening is to obtain information, listen to understand people and situations before reacting to them. It is the conscious decision to listen cautiously and understand what people are trying to convey without being judgmental.
The listening ability is not equal in every person. However, communication skills can be acquired with time and patience. It is about focus, motivation, and understanding things from different perspectives for better results.
People spend between 70%-80% of their day engaged in some form of communication, and about 55% of their time is devoted to listening? But the question is, do they deeply listen?
In 1957 psychologists Carl Rogers and Richard Farson first coined the term ‘Active listening’
‘Active listening helps to bring about changes in people. It shows as one of the most effective agents for individual personality change and group development. And also how active listening brings changes in peoples’ attitudes toward themselves and others; shaping their basic values and personal philosophy’.
Here is the 3 A’s of Active Listening
Learning practical listening skills is not simple as it appears to be. Learners sincerely have to understand the dos and don’ts of listening to become a better listener.
Attitude is an emotion that comes from understanding what others say about a fact or state. Likewise, understanding that we all can learn something new from others even if we have strong beliefs or feelings before the topic.
The second thing, we must have a good attention. Most of us tend to distract away easily. If that is the case, one must practice some exercise to help hold your attention to the speaker. Mind games or puzzles that keep your attention are great to start with.
Adjustment in listening is nothing but keeping an open mind. To follow what the speaker conveys, even if that is difficult for you to grasp or hold no meaning. Often we listen to great leaders speaking about business or life in general. If the topic of discussion steers in a monotonous direction, we tend not to adjust but daydream. When we keep an open mind and ready to invest our time, we adapt to the situation and, in the end, become better listeners.
Apart from the 3A’s of Active Listening here what you have to do
Face the speaker
Maintaining proper eye contact is a primary aspect of effective communication. Nobody wants your divided attention while they are speaking to you, be it your friend or colleagues. Please concentrate and keep all your distractions aside while you are talking to someone. Put your phone, books, papers, and other distractions aside, face the speaker and try to be present in the conversation.
Use your mind
One of the most effective ways is to use your mind and create a literal picture. Try and focus on the key points and make mental notes. Your mind will do it for you; just allow it to act and be present. Try to concentrate even if it irks you. If you find yourself distracted or daydreaming, immediately bring back your focus to the conversation.
Avoid interrupting anyone during a conversation, you subconsciously tell the speaker that your voice is more important and relevant. At times if you have to interrupt the speaker or you have a question in your mind, make sure to do it politely. Take permission before cutting the conversation midway.
Practice empathy it allows you to be present with the speaker emotionally and understanding them by putting yourself into their shoes. It will enable you to feel the speaker’s emotions, either sad, joyful, or fearful. A conversation becomes meaningful when listening has empathy.
Give Regular Feedback
Giving feedback is another way to keep the speaker invested. Don’t sit still like a robot listening to the speaker, express your thoughts and feelings with your body language depending on or respond questions that are apt to the given condition. Send your feedback to the speaker to clear doubts and keep the conversation transparent.
Active listening can be learned and developed. And if you have reached up to this part of the blog, then I can assume that you would be willing to practice active listening in your workplace. Practice the mentioned steps and you will attain listening skills and become a powerful communicator!
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