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5 ways to be a better listener

by Abby Swick, Mirror Staff

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The first thing you need to know is hearing and listening are not the same thing. The definition of hearing is perceiving sound while listening is giving attention to sound, so hearing is only part of listening.

 

To be a better listener you need to be paying attention to the person in general. Make eye contact with them to let them know you are in fact listening to them. Also lean in closer them to make sure you are hearing them correctly.

 

Giving a smile and nodding some can be encouraging and let the speaker know you are listening to them. These are all non-verbal ways of communicating to them that you are interested in what they have to say.

 

Try to avoid distractions like a computer or phone and tune into what you are being told. Tuning out background noise is also important to hearing them and hearing is the important part of listening. Keeping eye contact on the speaker can also help tune out distractions, such as people walking behind them or the lighting changed.

 

Whatever you do, DO NOT INTERRUPT.  Interrupting anyone is rude and childish in any setting. In a setting where someone is just talking to you, it is especially rude and comes across as not caring what they are saying. Also, while they are talking don’t be waiting for your turn to speak. You will get your turn to speak after they are done talking so listen to what they are saying.

 

Also, be careful to not tune them out to plan your response to what they are saying.

 

The best way to show them that you are listening, and that you care about what they are saying, is by asking questions. This helps keep the speaker from feeling like they are babbling on about something you don’t care about, and allows them to talk about what they like to talk about more.

 

Be sure to apply what is being said to you to yourself. In this you would take the information and put it in the context of your life. If some was telling you about how they got in a fight with their mom, you could imagine a time you fought with your mom and remember how you felt. This will help you give good feedback and understand how they feel. Also,  you will be more likely to remember this conversation.

 

If we all listened a little better and listened to comprehend not just reply we would remember and know more about people. we would remember what you talked about not just that you talked.

 

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5 ways to be a better listener