BY KATE BATSON 31st May 2019, London. Have you ever talked to someone and walked away feeling like they didn’t really get it? The chances are the other person was listening and heard you, but nothing more
When you feel listened to and understood you walk away feeling so much better.
Active Listening goes beyond just listening; its goal is to understand the feelings and views of a person. By giving 100% to your conversations you will hear and comprehend the true content of the message as well as pick up all the unconscious signals. Active listening is an essential component of effective communication and is something that can be learned and developed. Here are some tips on how to achieve this:
Pay attention to your frame of mind, as well as your body language. Don’t try to multi-task. We’ve all sat talking to someone who is texting on their phone and it feels like your conversation is not a priority. Also pay attention to the speaker’s body language. The real message maybe non-verbal or emotional. Did you know we judge people by their body language more than their words or tone of voice? What is your body language saying about you?
Withhold/ Defer Judgement
Active listeners will withhold criticism and allow the speaker to finish their point before offering a counter argument. It is always best to approach dialogue with the goal to learn something new, allowing the other party to voice their opinions and share a different opinion.
If you briefly summarise what you have heard this lets the speaker know you understand them and are engaged.
Broad, open ended questions will help you guide the conversation. Then ask more specific questions to drill down into the detail. Avoid close-ended questions.
Responding to a question is still part of the listening process. Ensure that you keep an open mind and show respect for the others person’s point of view even if you disagree.
What about listening do you struggle with most? At JDX, we offer our people the opportunity to learn about active listening because we believe great communicators build strong relationships which deliver better business outcomes.