I hope this article will help you enrich the quality of your close relationships, because I would like to give you a few tips on how to be a good listener. One of the things that I always wished for, was to be a nice person, always surrounded by a lot of friends, family and people who love me and I could say I managed that mostly by being a good listener and by showing empathy and care towards other people’s needs. Most people spend almost 70% of their time by being engaged in different forms of communication, and, like me, I’m pretty sure that you’re one of them. That’s why I decided to show you a few simple tips on how to be a good listener, things that may help you improve the quality of your daily interactions.
1. Use Rephrasing
One of the most important and most easy tips I could give on how to be a good listener is to encourage you to use rephrasing as often as you can. It’s such a powerful tool for creating a good relationship with anyone! Rephrasing actually means saying what the other person has just told you, by using different words and in a very concise manner, in order to show the other one that you are really interested in understanding their point of view and that their opinion is extremely important to you. By using this technique, you should pay very close attention not to add certain aspects that do not match with what you were told by the person with whom you were having that conversation. The easier the other person will see himself/herself in what you are saying, the more he or she will have the feeling that you are really listening and you really understand what they are telling you.
2. Redefine Things!
By giving new meanings to the things you hear or see (because I’m sure you all know that non-verbal communication is as important as the verbal one and sometimes even more), you could show people that perception is a subjective matter and that everyone sees things differently. So, every time somebody tells you that only bad things happen to them, try to find out what these bad things are, and then, try to redefine them, to give them new meanings; maybe the other person didn’t even suspected that there could be a bright side to his or her problems.
3. Always Try to Ask a Few More Questions
In order to really understand what people tell you, you should always be prepared to ask a few extra questions. By doing this, you will seem much more interested in what the other person is telling you about, and also, it will help understand better the things you are told. So, be curious and don’t be afraid to ask some questions if certain aspects are still unclear to you! I’m sure that your conversational partner will appreciate you even more for showing empathy and interest in what he or she is saying. It will also make them feel important, and I know that everybody likes to feel that way.
4. Try to Pay Attention to What the Other Person is Telling You
You should always remember that every time you get involved in a verbal or non-verbal dialogue with someone, you should always focus your entire attention on them and on what they are trying to communicate you. Don’t let other things distract you, no matter how tempting they may seem at the time! Just think that if you do this (get distracted I mean), and you’re not paying close attention to your interlocutor, he or she will feel disrespected, misunderstood or even hurt. So, try to always pay attention to other people’s feelings and focus on what they’re saying, in order to become a better listener.
5. Try to Resist the Temptation to Contradict the Other Person
I know that it can happen to you quite frequently that the person you’re talking with would say something that you totally disagree with. I’m sure that you’d be tempted to prove them wrong and to convince them that your point of view in the correct one. You should try to fight this temptation, and first of all, you should try to find out all the elements, details and the context of what the other one tells you about. If you contradict a person too quickly, without having all the information, you may be wrong and also, you will hurt that person’s feelings. Try not to hurry and don’t be hasty!
6. Pay Attention to the Non-Verbal Aspects of Communication
Studies show that 75% of the communication is non-verbal and that is why you should always pay attention to all the aspects involved in the conversation, especially to the non-verbal ones. People can tell you so much without even saying a word! You should learn to use the non-verbal way of communicating in your advantage, first by understanding better what the other one is saying, and second, by expressing in a more convincing and of course, assertive manner what you are thinking.
7. Try Not to Think That What You Are Listening to is Boring
A good tip for you to become a good listener would be to never think that what the other person in telling you is such a boring thing, and never, under any circumstances do not show that you are thinking this way. Usually, most of the creative people are always paying attention to others, because they’re always looking for new things to learn, to understand, to explore. Although, many conversations may seem pretty boring, try not to change the subject until you make sure that there isn’t anything for you to learn from that conversation; you may be surprised.
I hope that the tips I gave you will help you understand better why certain people behave the way they do and why do they say certain things. Now, I would like to know what other tips for being a good listener do you know and of course, do you use? Have they paid off? Do tell!