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Listening, how to do it right

Communication is an essential part of everyday life.Specifically, listening is a critical skill in every part of life.You need to listen well at home, at school, to your children, and at the workplace.All of these areas of listening are very important.But one, listening at the workplace, can have serious consequences if it is not done well.If you don't listen at work you can end up with angry, disgruntled employees.You may make critical mistakes in with clients or shipping orders.It's so important that you learn to listen!Here's how to do it right.

1. Focus.Listening is an activity that uses a large portion of your cognitive abilities.To listen and really understand, you must review material and pay attention.Tune into the speaker.

2. Develop non-verbal communication skills.Non-verbal communication skills like nodding and smiling will help you listen better.And the person speaking will realize that you're paying attention and will in turn listen better to you.Your face must move and give the range of emotions that indicate whether you are following what the speaker has to say. By moving your face to the information, you can better concentrate on what the person is saying. Your face must become an active and contoured catcher of information.These gestures are a critical part of any exchange when you listen.
3. Face your speaker.Maintain eye contact.Shift your eyes to any material that the speaker offers, and then return your eye contact to the speaker when the materials are no longer the main point of the discussion.This will help you focus your attention and help your speaker realize s/he is being listened to.
4. Actively listen.Follow the conversation and anticipate what comes next.But remember not to interrupt.Interrupting implies that you think what you have to say is more important that what your speaker is saying.Ask questions or make comments at breaks in the conversation.Ask questions that let the person know you care what they are saying and understand the conversation.
5. Use receptive language.Instead of interrupting, use receptive language that helps the other person know you're paying attention.Use phrases like "I see . . . un hunh . . . oh really" that will help you follow and encourage your speaker's train of thought. This forces you to react to the ideas presented, rather than the person. You can then move to asking questions, instead of giving your opinion on the information being presented.
6. Ask for clarification.If you're confused or you get lost in a conversation, ask for clarification.Sometimes people think aloud or don't realize that their ideas are slightly jumbled.If this is the case, don't hesitate to ask the speaker for clarification.Ask questions to help you understand better.
7. Decide to find it interesting.Make a conscious decision to find the conversation important.Don't drift off or let your attention wander.Sit or stand up straight.Take a few deep breaths.Pay attention!You will not be able to fullyhear the other person's point of view or process information when you argue mentally or judge what they are saying before they have completed. An open mind is a mind that is receiving and listening to information.You'll find the conversation much more interesting if you're actually listening.

Basically, what it comes down to is desire.If you really want to listen, you will act like a good listener.If you don't care about the person talking or you don't want to know what they have to say, you won't try.But if you really care about the person talking and want to know what they have to say, you will listen.

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