Effective Communication is at the core of any successful relationship in our life, be it at home or workplace. But do we actually realize/ reflect whether the way we are communicating is making any real impact. Most of us think “Talking” is the most effective way to communicate but surprisingly it is the least effective. The most effective is “Listening” which is the most underrated also. Nothing can explain it better than the fact that we can speak only an average of 150 words/ min whereas we can process an average of 1000 words/ minute. Inspite of this we do little to develop our listening skills.
Listening is not only powerful, healing, affirmative and calming but also conveys to the person that they are important and saying something worth deserving our time and attention. Listening goes a long way in reducing conflicts and developing better relationships. Most of us also confuse “Hearing” with “Listening” which is not true. Hearing is not Listening. Hearing is a physiological process whereas Listening is the process of understanding the content ( message), context and the underlying feelings.
Developing good listening skills is important because good listeners respond to situations and people more effectively as they understand people and situations better. Some of the ways to develop good listening skills are as mentioned below :
- · Focus on what you’re “listening for” and not what you are “listening to”
- · Maintain a good eye contact while listening
- · Maintain an attentive and positive posture (leaning forward, open arms) to encourage the other person to speak.
- · Paraphrase what you hear to ensure clarity of message
- · Practice being more aware about your own feelings so that you can identify the feelings of others while they speak.