5 Tips to develop effective listening skills

Communication is vital in every aspect of our lives. Communicating effectively, however, doesn’t only imply transmitting clear messages. It also involves effectively listening to what the other person has to say. Effective listening improves our ability to identify and solve problems both in our personal life and at work. It helps us solve conflicts efficiently and saves us time because we make fewer errors. It also builds trust and friendships with those around us.

Being an effective listener is not a matter of having innate skills, but a matter of paying attention to the other person. And, if you want to become an effective listener, we hope these advices will help:

1. Maintain a relaxed body posture while focusing on the person in front of you. To this end, you should face the speaker and maintain eye contact.

2. Show that you’re paying attention. The best way to do this is by responding to what he is saying. That doesn’t mean you need to interrupt the speaker or finish his sentences for him. Using words like ‘Really!?’ or changing your facial expression shows you’re interested in the message and following what he is saying.

3. Genuinely listen to the speaker. Don’t focus on what you want to say. Just pay attention to what he has to say. Your time will come. Turn off the TV, close the lid on your laptop, and put your phone in your pocket. Give him your full attention.

4. Avoid sharing personal examples. Don’t give advice unless you’re asked for it, especially ways in which you’ve handled similar situations.

5. Never interrupt the other person. If you want to know more about something, wait until he is done to ask your questions. If he is accusing you or something, wait until he is done telling you what bothered him before you defend yourself. No matter how silly his argument sounds, that doesn’t make it any less important to him. So let him finish before making your point and, when you do, do it in an assertive manner.