If there is indeed a skill that is not taught in school and which is underestimated, it is indeed active and conscious listening. Whether on a personal or professional level, the impact of better listening is very great. Here are 5 tips to develop your listening ability.
1. Re-learn to love silence
Silence should not be uncomfortable, even if it occurs in a conversation. To begin again to find the non-threatening silence, one must authorize moments, even brief, without noise. Book each day a quiet bracket to re-tame the silence .
2. Eliminate multi-tasking
As soon as you start a conversation, leave out any other activity. If necessary, ask your caller to wait a few seconds to allow you to complete your task and release your mind so that you can listen more carefully.
3. Focus on the present
The starting point of active listening is to be in the present moment. If necessary, you can change position (get up, turn away from your screen, change room …) to create a physical break between what you were doing before and the conversation.
4. Telling yourself that you have something to learn
To encourage active listening, enter each conversation by telling yourself that you will learn something. In a way, you have to disconnect from your own opinions and experiences to be able to truly hear what our interlocutor has to say.
Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. (Most people do not listen in order to understand, they listen in order to respond). The conversations are not a game of ping-pong or tennis or the one who does not manage to return the ball loses the point !
5. Never fill the holes in the sentences
On average, people have a throughput of 225 words per minute in a conversation, while the human brain can hear up to 500 at the same time. The problem is that unconsciously, our mind tends to fill the whites, which seriously hinders the listening and understanding of the message . To avoid this, one must make conscious effort to really listen to every word.