Frustrated With Life? Learn to Listen Better
By Sandy Schroeder
In today's chaotic world, it's easy to become frustrated at home and at work as we try to connect with people. We are all trying to stay on track, but sometimes that becomes a struggle.
Forbes experts tell us there is a way to get better results when we talk with people. They recommend listening carefully and using good listening skills.
Take These Simple Steps
What can happen if you listen better? You may get fewer errors and wasted time at work, and a closer, deeper understanding at home.
Look everyone in the eye - It's obvious that you are not really involved if you are checking your phone and scanning the room while you are talking to someone. Give them your full attention.
Relax and be attentive - Screen out distractions and think about what the other person is really saying.
Listen with an open mind - Don't jump to conclusions or assume you know what the other person is thinking. Don't interrupt or finish their sentences. Hear them out as you listen without judging.
Get involved with their message - Try to picture what the speaker is saying. Try to catch key words and phrases to get a good perspective.
Wait to ask questions - When there is a natural pause, ask a question about what you have heard. That gives both of you a chance to make sure you are on the same page.
Stay on topic with questions - Don't get sidetracked with other thoughts or ideas. Focus on the subject at hand.
Give good feedback - When it's your turn to speak, keep your comments focused on what you heard and stay positive. Avoid implying that you are more important or really not that interested.
Note non-verbal clues - Frowning, continuous twitching or receptive smiles can say very different things about the speaker. Learn to read the signs and adjust your responses to fit.
Try to reflect their feelings - Imagine what they are feeling and why this talk is important to them. Let them know you understand with comments like, "That must have been difficult," or "I can see why you might feel like that."
Wrap things up - Where information is exchanged or agreements are reached, summarize what happened and listen for their response. If more talks are needed, suggest them and create a reminder for yourself.
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