Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Listening Matters

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Listening matters. Yes, it does. In a world where everyone wants to talk, talk, and talk, very rarely, we come across people, who listen. People who listen, are indeed great communicators. 

Here is why: 

  1. When we listen, we try to feel and understand what the other person is saying. 
  2. Listening helps in building trust. People feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts with people who listen keenly. They know you are listening with ardent attention and hence they consider you as a person to go to. 
  3. Listening helps in avoiding misunderstandings. It is very easy to misunderstand and interpret things the wrong way. And misunderstandings result in big problems. Hence, listening attentively helps. 
  4. Listening helps in removing conflict. Well, we don’t have to agree all the time, nonetheless, if we listen calmly, the other person knows that, since we listened, we will consider all the angles before coming to a decision. 
  5. Listening helps in increasing productivity. Good listeners retain information well and have clear understanding about what is expected from them. 

How to be a good listener: 

  1. Maintain eye contact with the speaker. Give the person undivided attention. 
  2. Pay attention to what the other person is saying. All the same, be relaxed. Keep all distractions aside. 
  3. Listen without judging. Don’t jump into conclusions. 
  4. Don’t give your own solutions without the person asking you. 
  5. Do not interrupt. 
  6. If you have any questions, wait for the speaker to pause. 
  7. Ask questions, not to judge or demean, but to understand. 
  8. Look for nonverbal cues to understand more. For example, is the speaker tense or upset or worried? Do look for those. 
  9. Give the speaker some proof that you are listening, be it nodding or saying something like, ‘You must have been elated!’, ‘Wow! That’s so cool.’, ‘Oh! That’s sad’, etc.