The different effective listening techniques are discussed in detail in the following article. The activities mentioned below would prove to be helpful not only at the workplace, but also in day-to-day life.
Listening effectively is an important skill that needs to be developed, in order to improve communication with others. Most of us don’t listen to others attentively. Hearing can be defined as the ability which helps in the perception of sound through vibrations that are being detected by the ear. Listening, though it seems to be similar to the process of hearing, is however, different in the sense that it requires a person to understand what is being said.
This can be defined as the process in which a person understands, interprets, and analyzes the information received through hearing. Such active listening skills are not only useful in understanding verbal speech, but also enable a person to derive conclusions from the speaker’s body language. In the workplace, they help in reducing conflicts, and develop an atmosphere where cooperation is possible.
Techniques for Bettering Listening Skills
These include four basic activities: encouraging, paraphrasing, reflecting feelings, and summarizing. Let us understand their importance in detail.
Through this technique, the speaker is encouraged to continue talking. The expressions like “I see” are generally used in this activity. It is an effective way to reinforce the speaker’s belief that one is listening to him keenly. It also helps the speaker understand which part of his speech is being appreciated, and helps him elaborate on that particular topic.
In this process, the words spoken by the speaker are presented by the listener in different words. The benefit of paraphrasing is that the speaker gets positive feedback, and ensures that whatever he has spoken is being understood by the listener. This prompts the speaker to proceed further, and stops him from repeating the same statement more than once.
3. Reflecting the Feelings
This is similar to paraphrasing. In paraphrasing, feedback about the meaning of words is given, while the feelings underlying the words are reflected in this activity. That is, identification and sorting of the speaker’s feelings is carried out in this process. If one is listening to a client, reflecting the feelings helps the speaker understand that one empathizes with his feelings; it encourages the speaker to proceed.
As the name suggests, this activity involves summarizing the sentences of the speaker. It is somewhat similar to paraphrasing, except for the fact that summarizing provides a complete and comprehensive feedback.
Tips To Follow
The following tips shall induce effective listening in the workplace as well.
- The activity of paraphrasing is important in providing proper feedback to the speaker, however, parroting back the words won’t help. In fact, it is highly annoying for the speaker to hear his own words repeatedly.
- Many a time it happens that the speaker asks a question not to get back an answer immediately, but to express himself. Thus, a listener should learn to control his impulses of answering such questions.
- One shouldn’t hesitate to ask questions if he has not heard the speaker’s words correctly, or he didn’t understand the meaning. The speaker would readily answer such questions, and resolve the doubts.
- It is necessary to maintain eye contact with the speaker while listening. One shouldn’t look away or at the watch; it creates an impression in the mind of the speaker that his speech is not important for the listener.
The information mentioned above would help a person in devising better communication strategies for workplace communication. One should give due importance to honing his listening skills. The effective listening techniques enlisted in the article above would prove to be helpful for individuals who are looking to improve their overall communication.