How to improve your listening skills
Everyone can improve their listening skills to some degree.Listening is a skill that can be practiced and improved.Everyone has experiences where others have heard them, but received none of the information that was shared.This article will give a few suggestions on how you and others can improve their listening skills.
Eye contact with the speaker is very important to maximize your listening.If you are listening to a CD or can't see the speaker from your vantage point, of course this will not apply.Additionally, if you are in a lecture you will need to take notes, but eye contact is still important.By focusing on the speaker's eyes you will minimize your distractions and if you are close enough you will be able to see the inflections and feelings associated with the speaker's words.
Focus your listening on the content and not the speaker.Have you ever found yourself counting how many times the speaker says a word like ‘and' or ‘umm'?If you are counting, you are not paying attention to what is being said.Also, avoid mentally critiquing the speaker's closes, actions or gestures.These thoughts will only distract you from truly hearing what is being said.
Do not get emotionally involved with what is being said.When your emotions start to flow, you only hear what you want to hear.You will have a tendency not to give credit to the items that contradict your view and over emphasize those points that support your view.You will find at the end of the speech or lecture that you did not receive the entire message.
Avoid distractions as best as you can.If you maintain eye contact you may cut down your field of vision.However, if you have an important conversation you want to hear then turn off the TV instead of putting on low volume or muting.Put on a sweater if it is cold.If your mind is wandering to resolve other issues then you are missing the content of the conversation.
You may have trouble staying awake and alert during a lecture or speech.If you can, take notes because this will force you to concentrate of the content of the message.Ask questions if possible.The adrenaline rush that you get speaking in front of the group will help keep you focused.If you can't ask questions, mentally ask questions.This will help you keep your brain active on the subject and not wandering onto distractions.
In conversationally listening, listen to the person's entire thought before developing your response.Too often a person will develop their response while the other person is completing their thought.You will hear this every night when the news people debate different policies and occurrences.They never listen to the entire thought of the other person before they start their response.
Your mind is much quicker than you or somebody else can speak.This means your brain can listen, think, write and have your brain stray all at the same time.You may have heard everything that was said and even taken decent notes, but not remember a thing.You will need to focus your brain on task to truly listen to the speaker.
Lastly, listening takes practice.Many people find that they must practice to become good at listening.Like other skills, it must be developed, practiced, and then maintained.Even professional athletes practice their skill sets daily.You will find that you become a better listener as you practice and concentrate on improving your skills.
In summary, listening skills need practice and concentration like any other skill.You will want to eliminate distractions in your physical environment.And lastly, you will want to work to focus your listening to the content of what is being said.