Good listening skills are important in◦ school◦ the workplace◦ day-to-day living Yet most of us receive very little training ineffective listening.
Minimize or remove any barriers to communication that may threaten theireffectiveness. Physically face towards and pay attention to the speaker. Listen for and verbally confirm the speakers intent or purpose. Confirm the content or the speakers request (the who, what, where, when,why and how). Clarify the degree of importance of the request to the speaker. What is thereason, need or urgency of the request? Recognize the level of emotion demonstrated by the speaker. Summarize and share their understanding of what is being requested. Indicate the level of response they will be able to provide.
Many factors hinder our listening. Here are a fewexamples:◦ Daydreaming.◦ Preparing our responses ahead of time.◦ Thinking about other people, places or things.
Here are 7 strategies and suggestions to help youimprove your listening skills.◦ 1.) Increase your listening span: Try to resist the temptation to interrupt. Make sure the speaker has had a complete chance to make his orher point before you speak. If you dont get the whole message, ask the speaker to repeatwhat they said.
2.) Take time to listen:◦ Dont put obvious limitations on your listening time - thespeaker will feel rushed. 3.) Listen between the lines:◦ Dont just listen to what is being said.◦ Try to understand the attitudes, needs and motivesbehind the words.
4.) Give your full attention:◦ Nodding or interjecting occasionally to clarify a point letsthe speaker know you are interested.◦ If the speaker pauses briefly, dont rush to fill the silence.◦ Use open-ended questions to encourage elaboration.
5.) Restate the message:◦ When you are sure that the speaker has finished, restatethe main points.◦ This is a good organizing strategy for you.◦ It also gives the speaker assurance that the messagehas been received.
6.) Listen for ideas as well as facts:◦ A good listener makes an effort to understand what thefacts add up to. 7.) Dont monopolize:◦ Resist the urge to dominate a situation or to feel thatyou know everything about a situation.◦ Be open to new ideas and allow the speaker to havehis or her say.