Today’s dynamically changing business environment and high-stress world require exceptional leadership skills for becoming successful. Most of the courses, life coaches, public speakers and leadership builders focus on your public speaking skills. However, they overlook one of the essential skill required to become a leader – Listening.
Naturally, we are all bad listeners however we can develop the art of listening because it is a genuine gift that helps you not only in achieving your business and career goals but also in your personal life. By becoming an effective listener, you can build relationships, resolve conflicts, and solve problems.
Here are some of the ways to become a better listener and achieve all the good it brings
1. Remember Hearing isn’t listening
Remember there is a huge difference between just hearing things and listening to them properly. People often start conversations with an agenda in their mind. When you are starting a conversation, make sure you do not have any already concluded results of the conversation in your mind. Starting a conversation with an open mind help you listen to more efficiently. The main difference between hearing and listening is that when you listen you understand things.
2. Ask Questions
An excellent way to enhance your listening skills is to ask questions. The more you ask questions, the more you understand. However, this doesn’t mean you interrupt in the middle of the conversation. Sometimes, people just want you to listen to them and do not interrupt again and again in the midst of the conversation.
3. Always Make Eye Contact
Always make eye contact with the other person. It is crucial because it gives the sense to someone else that you are interested in what they have to say so they start explaining things in a lot easier ways.
4. Acknowledge What You Heard
Use the words like “Yes” and phrases like “I understand” during the conversation. Another good way to acknowledge is to repeat what they just said. State something like let me be sure I understood this properly and repeated what they said. They will either acknowledge or correct you. Either way, it’s a win-win situation
5. Listen to Body Language
According to a research, 75% of the message is communicated by our bodies during a conversation instead of verbal communication. The body language of speaker show the signs of comfort, discomfort, either he trusts you or not. Same goes for the body language of the listener. Try to listen to the speaker as well observe his body language.