Hi there hopefully I have some returning readers and some new ones. If you are new welcome and if you are a returning reader then thank you I hope you enjoy this one as well. In my last blog, I talked about the ladder of inference and how we can use this to make sure we have come to the right conclusion or to try and bring our conversations back on track. This blog is going to be a short one just setting the foundations for a continuous theme listening.

Listening is a skill which we all think we do well and unfortunately, we don’t. You should work at listening because once you have learned to listen the rest of communication becomes easy. You use your ears and eyes to listen and your brain to concentrate on what is being said. If you are not concentrating on the person trying to communicate to you then you are not listening. How many times have you been in a meeting room and suddenly you have found yourself thinking about the new kitchen you are about to get or the football from last night. Your thoughts drown out the transmitter (the person trying to communicate with you).

I want to quickly cover the basics of being a good listener then in the next few blogs I will dive deeper into listening. My tips for being a good listener are as follows:

  • Look engaged in what the speaker is saying.
    • Have regular eye contact with the speaker (this is community dependent in some communities it is considered rude to look people in the eyes)
    • Look interested, look at your face in the mirror and see how your facial expressions appear. It appears my face always looks grumpy so I have to work on that so that I am not putting the speaker off.
    • Do not use electronic devices while you may still be listening to the speaker it gives the impression that you are more interested in something else this can diminish the speaker confidence and stop the flow of good conversation.
  • Do not interrupt.
    • This is one I struggle with the most I want to show that I am listening to the speaker and that I know what they are going to say so I jump in when I shouldn’t.
    • Only the speaker knows what they are going to say you jumping in ruins the flow of conversation and their train of thought.
    • Value silence, if the speaker has gone silent for a while do not think this is a que to jump in with your ideas, they may be gathering their thoughts for the next bit or an idea may have just come to them that they need to sort out first. The pause is important don’t ruin it value it they will let you know if they have finished or not.

Well this is the end of a short blog on listening hope you can take something away from it and continue reading my further blogs as we dive deeper into being a good listener. Please get in contact if you have any questions my twitter and LinkedIn accounts are linked to my page. Enjoy and be well.