Do You Know What the Top Traits of an Active Listener Are?
Active listening is a crucial part of making people feel seen and heard. Often, we’re so busy thinking of what our response will be that we miss what the other person is trying to communicate. If you’re looking to become a better listener, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve broken it down into our top three areas with some follow up bonus tips.
3 Things Active Listeners Do
- Let the other person know they’ve been heard. There are several ways you can do this. Involve yourself in the conversation by saying things like, “That’s interesting,” or “Tell me more,” or “Why did you feel that way?” Use visual cues such as nodding your head or smiling and summarize what you’ve heard. This sends a clear message you’re engaged in the conversation and significantly reduces the chance that you’ll mistake what has been said.
- Encourage their employees to talk. Great active listeners listen twice as much as they talk. When it is their turn to talk, they don’t turn the conversation back on themselves but instead continue the other person’s line of communication.
- Terminate conversations. Once a manager achieves the reputation of being a great listener, some people may overstay their welcome. This can be solved with phrases like, “It was nice talking to you,” or “Let me think about that a while and get back to you.” You can also use non-verbal cues such as placing your hand on your phone, picking up a piece of paper and glancing at it, or standing up.
Bonus Tips to Improve Your Listening Skills
- Concentrate on the speaker with the sole purpose of what is being said.
- Don’t interrupt and don’t assume you know what the speaker is going to say.
- Keep an open mind. Don’t stereotype, prejudge, or assume you know the content before listening.
- Stop thinking about what you want to say.
- Clarify you understand by repeating what you heard.
- Don’t take a stance. Try to reach an understanding.
Being an active listener takes time and practice. It won’t happen overnight, but it is possible to become one. The next time you’re in a conversation, check in with yourself and see if you can apply one of these tips.
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Written by Rachel Strysik