Monday, January 2, 2012

Active Listening Skills

Active Listening Skills

Are you a good listener? Wondering how to develop active listening skills? Go through this article to find out more about active listening exercises.

Active listening skills are a very important aspect of communication. Be it a conversation with your client or business partners or communication with your family, not listening properly to the other person indicates a lack of interest and respect towards him/her. Those who resist the barriers to effective listening and have inculcated effective listening skills definitely come across as sincere people. This helps them steer clear of problems that often arises in relationships at workplace or in personal life. They surely climb up the ladder of success quickly. Are you a good listener? Wondering how to inculcate active listening skills? Here's some information on ways to inculcate effective listening skills.

How to Develop Active Listening Skills

Do you often interrupt people when they are talking? If you do, then it's time you changed this habit of yours. If you want others to listen to you, then you need to listen to others as well. The first step is to assess your interpersonal communication skills to find out how good you are at listening. If people around you complain about you being a bad listener, take it seriously. Here are some active listening skills exercises that you must follow in order to improve your listening skills.

Be Attentive

When someone is talking to you, don't let your thoughts drift away. There is a difference between listening and appearing to be listening to someone. Stay relaxed and listen to the person and try to understand what he/she is saying. Don't let yourself get distracted by other things in the surroundings. Don't let the dialog running in your mind become an obstruction. You must focus at what the person is saying. The first step is listening and the next step is interpreting what you just heard.

Active Participation

Active participation by way of feedback is an important aspect of active listening skills. Maintaining eye contact and using positive body language surely helps in conveying that you are genuinely interested in listening. You can nod or use other facial expressions in order to convey your interest. If you are unable to grasp the meaning of what has been said, you can ask questions, but make sure that these questions are asked at an appropriate time. Instead of interrupting the speaker with counter-arguments, allow him/her to finish first.

Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Paraphrasing is an effective listening technique. It is basically restating what the speaker said in a few words. This technique of paraphrasing and summarizing can be used to test whether you actually understood what the speaker said. It also lets the speaker know that you have been listening to him/her. If you are attending a lecture, you can use the reflective skill of paraphrasing in order to get the essence of what the speaker is saying. Using some of the words or expressions that have been used by the speaker will definitely reflect your attentiveness and willingness to listen. If you are attending a seminar, you can use another important active listening skills exercise. You can pen down the important concepts explained by the speaker.

Active Listening Activities

If you are willing to improve your listening skills, you can do so with the help of active listening activities. Such active listening skills activities can be used by teachers in order to improve listening skills for children. To test the listening skills, the teacher can ask the students to repeat what he/she has just taught anytime between the class. To assess the listening skills of the students, students can be divided into pairs. One student can be asked to be the speaker and the other has to be a listener. After the speaker finishes, the listener is made to rephrase what the speaker said. This will help in assessing the listening skills of the students.

This was some information on active listening skills. I hope that you are now aware of the importance of effective listening in the workplace as well as in your personal relationships. Listen to others and they will also listen to you and give you the respect you deserve. So, be a good listener!


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