Listening is one of the most powerful abilities you can have in a social conversation. The way people feel comfortable talking to someone who listens well is a feeling so intimate, that barely any other skill allows a relationship reach heights as high as good communication.
So how would you listen well to someone? Here are a few points that help you improve your listening skills.
- Ask questions
When someone is telling you their stories, ask questions! Ask if it makes them happy, ask about nice consequences of their story so they feel happy about telling it. Ask questions that go deep into the subject if it’s a discussion or a factual conversation, like asking about someone’s study or job. Ask what they do at those places and if they like it, and why they feel like that. It really conveys your interest is the other person!
But: Do not take over the conversation if it’s a topic closely related to the person’s feelings or opinions, as it makes you come across uninterested. If you listen well, you have all the chances to shine out your own opinions and experiences without seeming dominant or making you look like you don’t care. But do respond in some way! All the time listened well will come back in talking-time at a later date.
- Look interested
This sounds pretty obvious, but is very important and effective! Sit excited, smile, look at the person talking to you. Really physically show your interest in the conversation.
- Place yourself in the other’s point of view
Switching points of view to the other’s is a good way of partaking in a conversation. It makes you understand why they feel how they feel, think the way they think and understand them more. Thinking this way conveys an understanding of the person and an empathy on a deeper level, which makes the person feel comfortable with you as you really understand their opinion, even if you don’t agree. Tell them you understand them, even if you don’t agree, and why!
- Accept them
Don’t constantly disagree with them, don’t discuss about every single thing they say and accept things they say without having an argument against it. Sometimes it’s better if you disagree on something to not say it, but keep it to yourself. Don’t always do this though! Healthy discussion is the heart of a good conversation and constantly saying ‘Yes, I agree’ makes the other person feel like they are talking against one of those nodding dog desk-toys.
And last of all:
- Continue conversations!
If you talk to the person a next time, bring up things you talked about before! show you remembered the conversation, that you have been thinking about it and that it has really been on your mind!
The effects of good communication are obvious: comfort, trust, friendship, and healthy relationships! Now go out and listen to someone!
Thank you for reading! 🙂