Active Listening Skills
What is Active Listening?
Active listening is a way to make another person feel valued and heard. Active listening is the basis for any successful conversation. Active listening is more than simply hearing someone speak. Active listening is more than just listening to what someone says. Active listening is when you listen with all your senses and pay attention to what the speaker is saying.
This differs from critical listening in that you don’t evaluate the message of another person with the intention of offering your opinion. The goal is to listen to the other person and maybe solve their problems.
You would think that listening is something we are good at. Research shows that most people aren’t good at listening. According to Edgar Dale’s Cone Of Experience, we remember only 25 percent to 50 percent of what is said. This means that if you speak to your boss, coworkers, customers, or spouse for ten minutes, they only pay attention to half of the conversation.
Active listening is a way to improve your listening skills. Active listening is when you are conscious of the message being conveyed and not just the words they say.
Tips for Active Listening
- Instead of offering unrequested advice or opinions, paraphrase what was said. This could be as simple as saying, “In other words what are you saying is…”
- If you are unsure of something, you can ask the speaker for clarification. Wait for the speaker to pause before interrupting. Next, say something like “Back up a moment.” “I didn’t get what you just said.”
- Interrupt the conversation of another person. Don’t prepare your response while the other person is speaking; what he or she has just said could change the meaning of the previous words.
- It was once a common belief among children that interrupting is rude. It’s not clear that this message is being conveyed anymore. The reality shows and talk shows that encourage loud, aggressive, and in-your face behavior are promoting the opposite.
- Listen without criticising or judging the other person. You can feel alarmed by what she has to say, but you shouldn’t think, “Well that was a dumb move.” If you engage in judgmental bemusements, your listening ability is compromised.
- You can use nonverbal behavior, as well as listening to what is being said, to detect hidden meaning. Sometimes, facial expressions, tone, and other behaviors are more telling than words.
- Relax now that you have made eye contact. It doesn’t mean you have to look at the other person all day. You don’t have to stare at the other person all day. It is important to pay attention.
- Listen to your inner dialogue and shut down. Do not daydream. It is difficult to listen attentively to both your inner voice and that of another person at the same moment.
- Mentally filter out noise and background activity. You should also avoid focusing on the speaker’s accent and speech style to the point that they become distracting. Don’t let your thoughts, feelings or biases distract you.
- Ask questions to clarify the speaker’s words. To encourage the speaker, ask open-ended questions. Do not ask closed questions. This can cause the conversation to become stale.
- Any worker should learn active listening. This skill allows you to listen and understand the thoughts of others in meetings and conversations.
About Soft Skills
Soft skills, also known as people skills, such as active listening, are extremely important. While your resume or CV may be impressive with an extensive list of professional experience and training, employers also want people who are able to communicate well and work in teams.
Learning and Development professionals often encounter situations where someone brings up a problem and decides that training is the solution. It depends on the seniority and relationship of the person dealing with you, as well as their willingness to persuade, whether it is easy to push the pause button.
Although the information provided by the person working with us may be accurate, it is important that we verify it before we take any further action. We must spend the necessary time solving the problem correctly if we are to be effective and solve problems. It may not even be a training issue.
We must make sure that we use all of our tools and skills when a customer engages with us for the first time. Active listening is one of the most important skills that we need to have. The next is thoughtful inquiry.
You should highlight important soft skills, such as problem solving flexibility and teamwork on your resume.
Are you looking to improve your soft skills? These online courses are a great way to improve your soft skills. They cover topics like public speaking and problem-solving, decision making, and being happy at work.