What necessarily makes listening effective? Effective listening allows us to understand the information provided by the person speaking and display genuine interest in the topic being discussed. Depending on the subject at hand, the listener can provide the speaker with some input and feedback along the way, asking incisive questions that demonstrate they are truly following the conversation and empathizing with the speaker.
Effective listening builds trust, promotes productivity, encourages better relationships, and leads to great problem-solving capabilities. Sounds pretty great, right? If you’re looking to become an effective listener, we have 5 tips below that might help along your journey.
1. Be Attentive and Relaxed- Perhaps, the most important part of effective listening, it’s vital to be attentive and within the present moment with the person, you’re listening to. Follow along with their words to build a full picture, block out all distractions, and just sit back and take it all in.
2. Maintain Eye Contact- Keeping eye contact throughout the conversation is an important way of letting the speaker know that you are listening to them, learning of the situation, and empathizing with the matter at hand. Just think of it as a visual signal of understanding—and whatever you do, don’t look at your phone!
3. Do Not Interrupt- Effective listening does not include interrupting the person speaking with your every thought and interjection. Keep communication seamless and fluid by letting them speak their truth and only talking when you need to ask questions to clarify the situation being discussed.
4. Keep an Open Mind- To truly hear someone, you must always keep an open mind. Even if red flags or causes for concern are raised, it’s important to keep it to yourself for the time being. If the person you’re speaking with is already feeling vulnerable, it’s not the time to form judgments or assumptions.
5. Put Yourself in Their Shoes- Similar to our last tip, putting yourself in someone’s shoes is easier said than done. However, a huge part of effective listening is being able to empathize with the speaker and see the situation from their point-of-view, despite whether or not you agree with their perspective.
At Hollow Tree Park Apartments in Houston, Texas, we believe it’s important to live life vigorously. In order to do so, you must educate yourself on a regular basis with lifestyle-enhancing tips, such as these. With this blog post, we seek to improve your way-of-life through education that promotes self-care.