We are in a world, full of people eager to respond in any slightest conversation they have with someone, other than listen to understand.
Listening to reply is the standard way that most people communicate; instead of actually paying attention to what the person is saying.
Listening to understand is the key to effective communication. However, when you listen to each other, you’re going to create an environment of safety.
Listening can strengthen connections, relationships, and friendships; hence, be careful because without listening, those things might not last long.
Listening to understand is a practice and it takes practice to achieve that.
These 5 guides will help you, listen to understand before responding, rather than listen to give a response immediately.
How to listen to understand
1. Pay attention
You wouldn’t want somebody to give deaf ears when you’re speaking, so why do it to somebody else? Paying close attention to the person speaking is an effective way of listening.
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2. Do not interrupt
Interfering in the middle of a conversation can easily make the speaker forget what he/she wanted to say. Allow the person speaking to be done before you can say something or add your own points. Do not jump to conclusions when the speaker is still talking.
3. Body Language
How is your sitting position? Do you think you’re doing the right thing by not sitting in a well-mannered position? Show your full focus in the conversation; that will tell you’re truly listening to understand what the speaker is saying. It’s okay if you make eye contact (smiling, nodding, etc)and some leading noises( Wow! Okay? Really? Go -on, alright, and so on) to show you really are listening.
4. Don’t judge
It’s very possible, you’ll disagree with the speaker but it’s not proper to judge what the speaker is saying. You can understand with the speaker but not necessarily agree with them. Judging the speaker doesn’t show you have understood the speech; it literally means, you only listen to respond quickly other than understand the speaker’s points of view. Put yourself in the speaker’s shoes and I can assure you that, you’ll definitely do not want to be judged. It’s okay when you tell the speaker to repeat the statement or ask questions, just for clarification on the things bothering you than judging what you just heard.
5. Repeat and Respond
Before giving or adding your own opinions, memorize and repeat what the speaker said; Do not jump in and say what you feel like or what you were planning to say. Be honest and respectful in your responses. Demonstrate that you have listened and understood the speaker. You can start from the overall points and then, add the details.