Grooming Yourself to be an Active Listener

To become an active listener ponder over the following-

·         Who is talking to me? It is important to determine your relationship with the speaker. Acquaintances and coworkers have different relationship than a spouse, parent etc.

·         What is actually being said? To make certain you understand what is being communicated try paraphrasing the speaker's remarks and asking follow up questions. (Paraphrasing means restating a message but usually with fewer words. This is to test the understanding of what you heard, to communicate that you are trying to understand what is being said.

·         Why is the person telling me this?

·         Determine whether the speaker is seeking help with a problem is attempting to persuade or is simply passing on information about a situation.

When you find yourself drifting away during a listening session change your body position. Make certain everyone involved gets an opportunity to voice their opinions. Don't let one person dominate the conversation. When listening for long stretches focus on keywords and issues. When in doubt about whether to listen or speak keep listening.

Ask open questions. Open questions help a person to explore their feelings. The answer is not 'Yes' or 'No'.

 Eg: - Speaker- I didn't like the show.

         Listener- What didn't you like about it?

Use 'I see'... 'Oh Really' words and phrases as they follow and encourage your speakers train of thought. These responses let the speaker know that you are listening and understanding.

These skills are easy to describe. They are much more difficult to put into daily practice. However, they can be improved through practice and training. The challenge is to go beyond standard listening technique, to really build genuine skill and competence at listening and communication.

Do take the time to read -

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  • Managing Yourself
  • Advantages of Time Management
  • Job Hopping -Interesting article by Dr.Gopalkrishn...
  • Seven Meeting Etiquette Rules Not To Forget
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