Many people work a life time to perfect their conversation skill, when in reality, the skill makes people feel you are a great conversationalist is listening. Great listening skills are so powerful that they make you memorable. Everyone wants to talk, few have the wisdom or the skills to listen. Listening is one of the most valuable skill which helps to form enjoyable and productive relationships.
Why listening is important?
People may or may not like the person who talks a lot; everyone likes and values the person who listens a lot and who responds to the conversation.
Long term relationships are hard to maintain through the years. Listening more and talking less is the most effective strategy to avoid breaks in these relationships.
Listening carefully to your boss before taking action is wise.
Customers often say that it is not the failed product or service that anger them, it’s that they didn’t feel the employee listened to what they said. Customers are so surprised at being served by someone who really listens and cares enough to make sure they heard everything correctly.
Listening carefully will help you to assess people and adjust own behavior accordingly. Listening while ‘getting to know’ phase will help to avoid bad decisions and hasty commitments.
The Do’s of listening.
1. Most important sign of listening has nothing to do with ears, but with the eyes. Keep a good eye to eye contact during conversation.
2. Make listening noises (sub vocals).eg – Ah, uh, mmm etc. Sub vocals are a powerful secret weapon to demonstrate you are a good listener. You also can use short phrases or words such as ‘oh ‘, ‘really’ and ‘interesting’ to show that you are listening.
3. Paraphrasing and repeating are techniques that also offer your listener proof that you are listening closely.
4. Beyond eye contact, lively and interested facial expressions reflect great interest in the speaker’s words.
5. If you are really listening keep your remarks brief and ask questions.
The Don’ts of listening.
1. Don’t fiddle with pen or papers, or use any distracting gestures while you are listening.
2. Don’t relate everything to yourself. Avoid statements like, “same thing happened to me”, “that’s like my old boss ” etc.
3. Don’t constantly check your phone or watch while listening.
4. Don’t abruptly change topic when someone is talking to you.
5. Avoid clipping or jumping in soon as your partner says his/her last syllable.