So you’ve had a bad day and need to vent your frustration to anyone and everyone that will listen? Maybe you’ve just had some great news, or something you have been anticipating for ages is finally here? Whatever the case, it can be easy to get carried away. However, sometimes we need to remember that other people have stuff going on, too. If you just can’t stop your mouth then maybe it’s time to learn how to become a great listener.
Quiet your mind
Although we may not realize it, sometimes the thoughts in our mind can be drowning out what someone is saying. You might have a lot going on in your life, but now is the time to push all those thoughts aside and focus on the conversation at hand. It might take some practice to hush the voices in your mind, but you could be surprised at everything you’ve been missing out on all this time thanks to your personal monologue.
Wait until the end
This might sound simple, but have you ever thought about how many times you talk over the end of someone else’s sentence? Not only can this been seen as rude, but talking over someone could also mean you miss out on half the information they were trying to give you. Now is the time to practice waiting your turn to speak until the other person is completely finished. And don’t forget to talk about the same subject, not one you’ve been waiting to say. Being a great listener means paying attention!
Learn from it all
Having a conversation about a new film when you hate all things technology might not seem like an ideal chat. However, life is all about learning, and having a conversation with someone else gives us a perfect chance to extend our knowledge. Talking to people should provide us with the chance to discover things we never knew, not be an opportunity to stand there and pretend to listen because we think it looks polite. In fact, it could come across as the complete opposite if you’re not careful.
One great way to show the other person you are listening to what they are saying is to ask questions. It shows you want to learn more about the topic of conversation, value their opinion on the matter, and want to continue having a conversation. It’s a win-win situation all around! Plus, this goes hand in hand with learning from a discussion. Asking plenty of questions should help to uncover the facts they might have missed out throughout the conversation so far. You never know what you might learn along the way.
Maintain eye contact
You might think you only listen with your ears, but we need our eyes to show someone we are a great listener, too. Staring off into space, reading posters on the wall, or avoiding eye contact at all costs aren’t the best ways to show someone we are paying attention. Instead, it’s best to keep your focus on the person you are talking to. You’ll look as though you are listening, and probably be able to hear more of what they’re saying – it’s perfect.
Avoid the phone
Believe it or not, but standing there texting on your cell or scrolling through social media aren’t usually the ways to show someone you’re listening, we know – it’s a shocker. Make sure your call is tucked safely out of reach, such as in your back pocket or at the bottom of your purse, and you your mind – and hands – will safely be kept away from any distractions.
It might seem as though you need a degree in how to interact with people to become a great listener, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as we once thought. In fact, with a few small changes, you could soon be the person all your friends are flooding to when they need someone to hear them out!