CHAPTER 4: LISTENING



Are you a good listener?

My grandmother used to tell me that God had given us two ears and one mouth so we could have listened twice as much as we speak. Most people think that to become a good communicator you have to focus on becoming great speakers, but listening is just as important as speaking in the communication process active listening is a skill worthy of developing, if for no other reason than it is becoming an increasingly rare commodity. Well...and how can we improve that?

First of all,  Make Eye Contact. If you don’t look at the person while they’re speaking, you give them the impression that you don’t care what they say.
Then, let the person speak uninterrupted: shine the spotlight on them, not on you. Meanwhile, show you understand. Simple gestures -- nodding, raising the eyebrows, or leaning forward -- all can convey interest. Occasional comments, such as "I see," "that's interest," or "tell me more about that," if said with genuine interest, can go a long way toward reassuring the speaker.
Learn to  listen without thinking and judging. To effectively master the art of listening it’s extremely important to concentrate on the speaker and withhold any negative evaluations or judgments. Resist the temptation to monopolize conversation. If you like to dominate a situation or feel you know everything there is to know about a subject, you're probably a poor listener. Because we usually think three to four times faster than we talk, we often get impatient with a speaker's slow progress, and our minds wander. Try using the extra time by silently reviewing and summarizing the speaker's main points. Then, when he's finished, you can paraphrase. When you restate in your own words what the speaker is saying, you prove that you’re listening carefully.