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Tips For Being A Better Listener

Matthew Yonally

Being a good listener is one of the most important and enchanting life skills anyone can have. Yet, few of us know how to do it because no one has properly taught us how to do so. In other terms, no one has listened to us. We may be eager to talk to others, but nearly as excited to listen. However, listening holds great value and is a great trait to have as you grow. Here are some tips on how you can become a better listener.

Maintain Eye Contact
Of course, this may sound like something that is common knowledge to everyone, but it is a bit harder in practicality. When we engage in a discourse with someone, eye contact can be a bit difficult to maintain, so we divert our gaze to other things to avoid looking at them directly. However, eye contact ensures that you are giving them your full, undivided attention. The best way to maintain eye contact for extended periods is to silence and put away distractions such as phones, computers or other hand-held devices. All it takes is a momentary distraction to eliminate your concentration.

Be Patient and Wait For Them To Finish
Interrupting others when they are in the middle of a thought or prematurely injecting yourself into a conversation shows that instead of listening, you are more eager just to get out what you want to say. This is why a lot of people do not listen for the sake of understanding, but rather to just give their own two cents. Even though it is tempting to jump in whenever someone else takes a breath, you need to wait until they are finished. Thoughtful pauses are acceptable, and because of that, your reply will have much more insight.

Nonverbal Cues
This ties into eliminating all of your distraction. To master being a better listener, you will also have to master interpreting what nonverbal behavior is telling you. Do not shy away to directly address those cues. If someone is giving a presentation, and you see them sweating or trembling, intervene for them.
As you can see, listening is a valuable skill to have. Utilize some of these tips, and you will find yourself a better listener.

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