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Why and How to Become an Active Listener?

Have you ever heard of any machine that gives output without any input?
Most probably, the answer is “NO”.

First, we need to give commands or signals for processing and then we get the results. Similarly,
communication requires listening first, and then only you can respond efficiently.

Listening is an activity that requires attention to every detail which the speaker is trying to give, instead
of just waiting for the speaker to finish, you need to listen actively with full attention to understand the
information being spoken.

It is very important that you first listen carefully, understand what is said, and then respond. Active
listening does not require any hard work, but it is not an easy task without complete focus. Active
listening is required to handle every situation in life, be it your office meetings, business conversations,
or personal counseling.

Active listening is a skill that can be acquired with practice, you can get started to become an active
listener with help of the below-mentioned tips:

Be Still When You Listen


Don’t move your body here and there while listening to important conversation/information. This will
help you focus more since your eyes and mind won’t wander if you are not moving unnecessarily.

Face the Speaker


Sit or stand in a firm and formal posture while facing the speaker, this way you’ll be able to see him/her
in real-time to have an even better understanding of an emotional or empathetic situation that requires
more visual frowns and facial expressions from both sides.

Make Eye Contact


Make eye contact with the speaker and nod your head or use facial expressions to convey that you are
listening actively, listening is also an art and the listener needs to show that they care about what is
being spoken. This motivates and encourages the speaker to deliver more as per the interest of his/her
audience.

Don’t Interrupt Unnecessarily or In-between

Do not interrupt the speaker while he is speaking, this will help you understand the speaker’s point of
view on a subject, incident, or opinion. When we interrupt the speaker unnecessarily, he/she is
influenced for no reason and this might distract the focus of the speaker or other listeners.

Say No to Prejudice


Do not judge any topic or statement being spoken in advance (based on your prior experience), try to
focus and understand what exactly the speaker is trying to convey. When we have a prejudice for any
Individual, place, or category then we tend to judge the topic before it is finished or sometimes even
before it has started properly. This brings me to the next point to allow the speaker to finish.

Let the speaker finish: Allow the speaker to finish what he wants to say, once the speaker is finished
you’ll get a complete insight into the message which he/she is trying to convey, and then you can judge
it based on your cognitive abilities.

Imagine and Relate


When the speaker has conveyed his point of view, it is your turn to empathetically imagine and relate to
what was said or is being said by the other listeners around. A non-cognitive relation between things can
help you feel the speaker.

As I said earlier, listening is an input to your brain and after this input, there is a bit of processing before
an outcome is presented. A speaker can only speak well when there are like-minded listeners or at least
the listeners who allow him/her to convey the complete message. There is no doubt that a speaker is
important to convey any message however the second important half is a listener who is supposed to
understand and process to present an outcome.

In the end, I would say it is required to be a good listener before being a good speaker.

July 22, 2021

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