Sparkplug Do I Listen


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Sparkplug Do I Listen

  1. 1. % Spark Plug & Read on ................................... Do I Listen Effectively? - Sarita D’Souza “We were given two ears but only one mouth, because listening is twice as hard as talking.” Most of us do not realize the importance of listening as a communicative tool. Yet, studies have shown that we actually spend 50% more time listening than we do talking. Effective listening can be a precious gift: at home or among personal relations, it builds relationships and fosters understanding, while at work, it minimises errors, prevents wastage of time and resolves conflicts. So here are a few tips on how to hone your listening faculties and evolve as an effective communicator. 1 f effective listening is an True listening requires a “I’ll tell you what to do about integral part of communication, temporary suspension of all ideas that,” is a response to try and offer then it becomes necessary to - if your mind is already cluttered, a solution to the speaker’s work out ways to develop skills it is difficult for you to be receptive. problem. But many a time, the for effective listening. Many Some barriers to listening include speaker doesn’t want you to tell people believe that listening is akin judging, evaluating, abusing, her how to fix it. She just wants you to breathing - it comes analysing, ignoring or changing to listen. You have to know what automatically. The reality, the subject, and presuming that the person expects of you. however, is listening is a skill that communication has taken place. “I know, but let me tell you what needs to be mastered as any other. Do we often start judging others happened to me…” is an oft- We must listen to understand the instead of listening to understand encountered reaction. That seems speaker. This implies that one has what they are saying? Do we pass to send out a message that you are to listen with rapt attention. We remarks such as “That will never ignoring the listener’s problem or need to verify whether our work” or “That’s the most stupid undermining its gravity. Changing perception matches the speaker’s idea I ever heard”? the subject with phrases such as intent. Evaluating is similar to judging. “That reminds me of the time. . .” Factors that affect our ability to The listener evaluates the message halts the flow of communication. listen include: rather than trying to understand it. Beliefs: Some of us believe that Calling somebody (or his ideas) the speaker has power and the “stupid” acts as an immediate listener is weak. But the French deterrent and is a block to good philosopher Voltaire thought communication. Phrases such as otherwise. He said, “When I listen, “You’re trying to say that…” or I have the power. When I speak, I “Here’s what you mean. . .” are give it away.” aimed at evaluating the speaker. If Barriers: A barrier is something we analyse everything the other that hinders or restricts person is saying, we are not going understanding. The barrier may be to be effective listeners. Questions either physical (noise, distance) or are always better than definitive mental (lack of concentration). statements.
  2. 2. % Spark Plug & Read on ................................... The ultimate barrier is when one Another way could be asking presumes that communication has appropriate questions. Use of One way to improve taken place. One assumes having open-ended questions such as your listening abilities understood what the other is “Tell me more about that” and come across as a saying, and makes a judgment encourages the speaker to expand based on that. on a thought. It is better to avoid great support person is Biases: Biases come in different close-ended questions. to assist the speaker. forms. Age, race, culture, gender Use of ‘involved silence,’ which and trigger words can hinder entails not looking away, but anxiety. Three to four feet is a effective communication. Trigger maintaining silence with an eye-to- comfortable distance to ensure words set up negative expectations eye contact, is another key to communication. A distance of four and interfere with the ability to effective listening. Avoid to eight feet is good for business- listen. Common trigger words interrupting the speaker. Wait for related meetings. Three feet or less include “No,” “We can’t do that,” him to finish speaking and take is appropriate for personal “That’s not my job,” or “You’ve notes to remember crucial points. conversation. called the wrong department.” It is also necessary to use Eye contact: It is necessary to have One way to improve your appropriate non-verbal techniques an eye-to-eye contact with the listening ability and come across as that show the speaker we are speaker but a staring contest has a great support person is to assist interested. These include: to be avoided! the speaker. There are four ways Leaning towards the speaker: Be a mirror for the speaker: When in which you can do that - one of This sends a message of we rephrase the speaker’s words them is using openers. Create an involvement. One suggestion or the crux of his message, it will opportunity for the speaker to would be to sit on your chair’s help us verify the speaker’s intent begin. Engage people in edge and lean slightly in the and our perception of it. conversation by asking questions. direction of the speaker. Deal with distractions: Use phrases such as “Could you Involved posture: Face the person Distractions include sight, sound tell me what you think of this?” squarely to indicate involvement. or sensation. Sensations can You can also be encouraging. You can also smile at appropriate include fatigue, illness, light and Phrases such as “That’s times. the temperature. interesting” or “I hadn’t thought of Space/territory: Long distances that,” reveal your interest to the impede communication and speaker and inspire him to extremely short ones increase continue. OMake a written commitment: share your listening goal: She can This will affirm why you are coach you and give you feedback doing this and the benefits of on how you’re doing. O Observe improving listening skills people OA reminder system: You listening: (do it discreetly could use your door, refrigerator, though). How are they using mirror or computer screen saver verbal and non-verbal as an effective reinforcing system communication to listen? OFind a support person and OPractice: Take time out to listen to someone who is close to you.