A lot of people are going to believe that they are really good at listening. They believe that just by sitting quietly in front of someone who is talking to them is actually something that constitutes as good listening skills. But that’s not always the case. It’s more than just manufactured body language and facial reactions.
It’s not just about saying the occasional “Ohhh” and “Aahhh” after someone says something. Being a good listener is a necessary social skill that a lot of us seem to lack in the way that we conduct ourselves. Here are a few habits that all good listeners practice consistently whenever they’re talking to others.
However, a study from Wright State University has delved deeper into the matter to provide us with some substantial perspective on the matter. The study involved more than 8,000 participants and it showed that only 25% of them actually knew how to be good and effective listeners.
Again, being a good listener entails more than just pretending like you’re interested in whatever someone has to say about a subject matter. And it’s important that you know this. Remember that in your relationships, you always want to make sure that you have a strong communication game.
And communication is more than just speaking up and saying whatever you want to say. Communication is also going to entail a substantial amount of listening. You want to make sure that you turn yourself into an effective listener if you really want to promote the level of communication in your relationship.
So, if you’re reading this, then that’s good on you. It means that you’re interested in becoming a better listener and you’re humble enough to learn how to improve your game. And if you really want to be a better listener, it’s a matter of making sure that you practice good habits.
You always want to be making a habit out of being a good listener to become a more effective communicator. Here are a few habits that you need to incorporate into your conversations if you really want to be a good listener.
1. Create a safe and secure space for another person to express themselves.
Make sure they always feel safe and secure to express themselves to you. You never want them to feel like they aren’t welcome to just let out whatever is on their mind.
2. Always maintain eye contact.
Eye contact is always going to be of the essence when maintaining the integrity of a conversation. The quickest way to make another person feel like you’re losing interest in them is if you start looking about on your phone while they’re talking to you. Always make sure that they know that they have your undivided attention.
3. Incorporate body language into your conversations.
It’s always nice whenever you incorporate some body language into your conversations. For example, if it’s clear that your partner wants to convey a sense of shock in what they’re saying, then respond accordingly. Maybe raise your eyebrows or even elicit a gasp to show that you’re locked in and engaged in what they’ve just told you.
4. Be engaging and ask nuanced questions.
Try to be as engaging as possible and make an effort to ask some very nuanced questions. When you make inquisitions into what your partner is trying to tell you, then you are essentially letting them know that you’re genuinely interested in whatever it is they have to say to you.
5. Don’t be too critical or judgmental.
Refrain from being too critical or judgmental whenever they decide to open up to you. If they say something alarming, try to keep your emotional reactions to a minimum. Let them know that they shouldn’t be so intimidated to open up to you about something. Don’t make them feel too judged or criticized because it will scare them into being quiet.
6. Make an effort to rephrase what a person is saying to clarify it.
A great way to show the person you’re talking to that you’re very engaged in the conversation is to actually rephrase what they’re saying back towards them. Let them know that you’re trying to clarify what they’re telling you but that you’re also paying keen attention to detail.
7. Know when to stay silent and when to give good advice.
You really have to be discerning in the way that you respond to whatever a person is going to say to you. You always want to make sure that you don’t say the wrong thing.
And sometimes, you will even be placed in positions wherein you shouldn’t be saying anything at all. In order to be a good listener, you need to know when it’s right for you to inject your own opinions on the matter and when you should just hush up.