If you want to achieve success in life, work or relationship, good communication is one of the most valuable skills you must possess. There are many important aspects of communication, part of which is listening. Most people are not even aware that ‘listening’ is a necessary part of the communication process, but the reality is listening is absolutely crucial if you want to become a good communicator. Think about how great it feels when someone is actively listening to you, it helps to build rapport, which is essential for relationship-building.
- Do not interrupt.There’s nothing more annoying than being interrupted by someone. You begin a sentence, and suddenly, someone jumps in to complete it. Even if the person is right on target with your thoughts, you find it frustrating. Resist the urge to jump in when someone is talking.
- Do not finish other people’s sentences.Constantly cutting those people off mid-sentence is an important habit to break. While you may feel like you are doing someone a favour by finishing their sentence for them, this can actually be very frustrating. You as the listener are now taking control of the speaker’s sentence. Control your urge to jump in.
- Do not talk over people. This demonstrates a real lack of respect. It is also condescending. By talking over someone what you are essentially saying is ‘I don’t care what you are saying, what I have to say is more important’.
- Be an active listener. Make an effort to focus on active listening rather than passive listening. The key difference is that active listening means you engage and respond to the other person based on what they have said, passive listening is simply the act of listening with no real response.
- Maintain eye contact. By looking the other person in the eye you are demonstrating a level of interest. This also keeps you focused and less impacted by distractions.