Effective listening is always a precursor to effective communication.Here are a few ways in which we can improve our listening skills.
- Make eye contact
- When we make eye contact while speaking to somebody Or while listening to them, it gives a real and very clear signal that we are interested in the conversation.
- Believe it or not, making eye contact helps you understand the content of conversation.
- Eye contact prevents you from distractions
- Give encouragement
- Nodding, leaning forward, open posture etc. are non verbal cues which encourage the speaker and send a message that the listener is paying attention
- Apart from non verbal communication, there are few verbal cues also which encourages the speaker like “I see” or “hmm”
- Connecting with the speaker, empathising with their viewpoint is an integral part of effective listening
- Feeling words like ‘I can see you felt like__’, ‘Oh, that must have been difficult!’ etc. deepen the conversation
- Reflecting the content of conversation conveys that you are in line with what is being discussed
- Reflections can surely pave pathways to different areas related to the content being spoken of, different perspectives etc.
- Being engaged in the conversation by efforts like asking questions for clarification or suggesting explorations make the conversation effective and interesting.
The above ideas can help you build a healthy and effective conversation. It can help you ensure the speaker that you are fully present in the conversation.
Surely effective conversations are precursors to effective and healthy relationships. At various spaces in our lives, we can step forward and try making our communication patterns healthy.