Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. But as listening expert Paul Sacco, Ph. Below are nine habits that good listeners practice in their everyday lives and conversations that you can adopt for yourself.
But listening is so much more than hearing.
Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. Effective listening offers you many benefits, and encourages the speaker to feel valued as well. Being a good listener is important for a number of reasons.
Good listening connects you to the world around you and helps you understand your responsibilities. Aside from the practical benefits, being a good listener is important for the quality of your social life.
What kind of relationship would you have with someone who talks all the time and never listens to you? No real relationship at all. Being a good listener A good listener meaningful relationships with those around you. Finally, listening to others, and listening well, is important for your personal development because it allows you to expand your horizon.
We each have a world of our own, filled with our A good listener, ideas, opinions, values, experiences and perspectives. Collectively, these make up our horizon.
One of the best ways to expand that horizon is to expose ourselves to other thoughts, ideas, opinions, values, experiences and perspectives. We do this by opening our ears and minds to them. We do this by listening. Hearing is a sense — it happens when sound hits our ears and involves the processing of sound in the brain.
I hear a truck outside my window. Hearing is a passive physical process. Listening, on the other hand, is an action we consciously take. When we listen, we go beyond simply hearing words by giving our attention to what is being said. In the section above, we went over the practical, social and personal developmental benefits of listening well.
When you listen to instructions, you pay attention to them with the intention of understanding them. This allows you to do well on tests, stay out of trouble, keep a job, and do what you are supposed to do among other things. When you listen to another person attentively and try to understand him or her, you go beyond the words to the speaker, him- or herself.
This may be what Krishnamurti was getting at in the above quote — we should listen to the feeling within what a person says. Speakers and their intentions or feelings are part of the words they speak. In this sense, listening involves not only the brain and ears, but the heart as well.
When we give our attention to the person speaking as well as to the words spoken, we are treating that person and his or her feelings with respect.
When we give our attention to other people and try to understand them, we are treating them as people with something potentially valuable to say.
In this way, we acknowledge that the individual before us, whose experiences and perspective are different from our own, may be giving us something of a gift.
Listening well is how we set ourselves up to accept that gift, with the full understanding that our own world is limited and that the speaker may be able to expand our horizon and improve our understanding of the world around us.
When we listen to another, we allow ourselves to reflect, learn and grow as we work to make more informed choices in our own life. It should also be noted that effective listening involves paying attention to what is said, but not judging it at that time.
Judgment is a different faculty, and one that should certainly be used after you have listened to another. One study, reported in the book Business Communications: As mentioned above, listening is one of the most effective ways to learn and grow.
Sometimes we simply get distracted.
There is no shortage of distractions today, particularly with the number of smart phones, apps, text messages, viral videos, memes and so on drawing our attention away from people in the flesh to the screen. We may also simply drift off in thought when someone is speaking to us — an older but in no way extinct form of distraction.
Overestimating our listening skills: The truth is, no matter how well we may listen now, listening is a skill that can be developed. Like all skills, performance increases with practice. We owe it to ourselves and to those around us to cultivate our listening skills.
For others, the obstacle may be distraction; this, too, can be overcome.We like to think we are good listeners, but I’m smart enough to know that even I miss things. Being a good listener is more than just allowing the other person to speak and you being nearby.
The Good Listener: All Songs Considered Every week on the All Songs Considered blog, NPR Music's Stephen Thompson answers readers' questions about how music fits into our lives.
A good listener is not waiting for their chance to get a word in, treating the ‘period of listening’ as a pause in their ‘monologue.’ Being so focused on trying to get ones view over is insensitive and misses the real value in the conversation.
Being a good listener involves treating the speaker with an open mind, willing to find something interesting in the speaker every time. As a matter of fact, much value of conversation is lost when you approach the speaker with negative frame of mind. It’s likely that just about every person would say they’re a good listener.
But listening isn’t an innate ability all people possess; it’s a skill we need to cultivate. And it’s a. = You’re an excellent listener and communicator. Keep it up. = You’re trying to be a good listener, but it’s time to brush up.
= Listening isn’t one of your strong points. Start paying attention.