Quick Ways to develop listening skills
Art of Listening is hard work.
It’s arduous but worths practicing. We can actively listen if we leave behind ( temporary) our ideas, beliefs, and wandering mind. And show undivided attention and focus on the person talking to us. Be presence!
Listening is tactful, time, and energy consuming and a ton of patience.
How can we listen to ourselves and others without any distractions?
Give Your Undivided Attention.
Let’s take the example of a mother who is practicing the art of listening. She said to her friend on the phone, “Let me call you back soon because my daughter needs me now.” Here, this mother decided to give undivided attention to her daughter and possible full care to her friend later.
Have you ever noticed your thought somewhere while listening to a lecture speech or your child, spouse, or friend?
Yes, I have done this, and then noticed that I was missing some vital information.
Practice and focus your thoughts on the speaker. How? Look at the person, maintain firm eye contact, lean forward, and find something interesting in the person.
Is respect or admiration one of your values?
Then be a good listener — talk less and listen more. Adam Grant, in his book, Give and Take digested, “the power of powerless communication.” We don’t need to say a word, but our body language always exposes our deepest thoughts.
The best gift you can give others is to become a better you. And that starts becoming a better listener — Joe Hart
Let Go of Yourself
You are not alone. Putting ourselves aside is a tough task, but with openness, acceptance, and empathy, it’s possible.
When we let go of ourselves, we are likely to learn from everyone and everything — what to do or what not to do.
How can we do that? Next time, you have a conversation with a person who has a different value from yours, concentration on your similarities such as — family, health, and love.
Jordan B. Peterson summaries putting ourselves aside in his, rule number 9for life “assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.” Listen to understand and put yourself aside.
Many years ago, I worked with Ms. Jones, the biological mother of a former foster child. She was reserved and wise. As the weeks go by, our interaction becomes conversational and productive. I’d actively listened to her, and she felt comfortable talking. I learned in-depth about her life, family, and community.
For example, I learned from her that our progressive town was once the center of school segregation and busing. And how this government policy harmed than good to her, family, and the community. Second, I learned from her how a family of five with fixed income could manage money effectively and enjoy life. She introduced me to QVC online and Kmart store.
What lesson have you learned from the unexpected source?
The Power of Openness and Observation
Openness and observation come by listening with undivided attention while letting go of yourself.
We can find more about people when we practice openness and observation. I have two eyes and two ears!
How do you use your two eyes and ears?
Understand and check your biases. We all do. My former supervisor, Ms. Eta, advised, “examine your biases before you enter a client’s house. The way your family eats dinner is different from your clients. There are many families’ homes without floor or indoor plumbing, but they are loving families. And they want the same thing you want for your children — good health and education.”
Being open and recognizing our basis can help us polish our listening skills.
The art of listening requires a lot of time, energy, and a ton of patience. You want to practice, practice, practice! You can practice the skills with your friend, children, spouse, employees, boss, colleague, or anyone around you.
More listening practice helps you decode hidden cues and unspoken words. Also, it directs you to empathize with others’ world view, which you may consider repugnant.
Dale Carnegie and Associates explains the lack of act of listening is a communication killer.
I learned a lesson many years ago when I replied to a friend, “Moving to another state with young children is a risky idea.” She ended the conversation and said goodbye. I was humbled because I did not pay attention or open to her feelings, thoughts, and new idea.
Pay attention, observe, and check your bias when processing the art of listening.
Active listening is essential to everyone. It can improve our business and personal relationship, and make us a sought after confidant.
Let go of yourself and pay attention to cues of what your partner is saying or not saying. Focus on the tone, speed, volume of the voice, and hidden message of your business associate. Also, listen to your thoughts and observe your actions — the art of listening!
Help yourself grow.
Thanks for reading