Today we are talking about one of the most important skills a person can have: listening. Being a good listener can help you professionally as well as personally. It can improve the relationship with your spouse and help create a good relationship with your children.
However, research suggests that we remember only 25-50 percent of what we hear. So the reality is that most people are not good listeners. As men, I can probably say in general we are not as good listeners as women.
Here are 11 tips:
1. Avoid interruptions – Don’t conversation hijak telling them that you understand prematurely. Allow the person to finish their thought. Slow down
2. Stop Thinking about your response. focus on the other person. It’s not about you.
3. Ask questions – come from a place of curiosity not judgement
4. Clarify their statement – it’s ok to repeat what they say or to confirm what they are saying to ensure you understand
5. Looks at the person directly in their eyes or at least close to them. Face them.
6. Focus on one thing at a time – If the person begins to cover too many topics, feel free to make sure you understand one point before going to the next.
7. Be empathetic – Do not problem solve – Say something like “That must really be difficult. or I’m sorry you are feeling that way. Try to put yourself in their shoes.
8. Look at non-verbal cues – Pay attention to their body language, facial expressions, tone of voice.
9. Be open minded – You don’t have to agree or be right. When someone feels they are being listened to, it becomes really powerful.
10. Repeat their words in your head – If you have trouble, try repeating the words they are saying in your mind.
11. Summarize – Bring everything they are saying together to make sure you understand it
Being a good listener is something we can all work on. As a father, we really want our kids to listen to us. A great way to do this is to show them that you are really listening to them.