In today's world, we are exposed to a lot of distractions that prevent us from having focused and clear communication skills. The major reason is we are lacking in listening skills and lacking in basic communication skills – such as asking questions in order to get more information which can help us to be much more clear with ourselves and of course with other people when we are actually conversing.
In this short blog, I will try to make some order and give a quick guide and tips on how to communicate in a more efficient way. Therefore helping to achieve much more clear results when we are entering any kind of conversation either if its personal, work, or business. I will also provide ideas on even more intense conversation which in ordinary moments can lead to lots of stress or frustration because we simply choose not to or are not aware of how to listen to the other person/s and what he/she/they trying to say.
How do you feel when you are listening?
Do you feel sometimes you are actually not listening at all? Are you aware of it?
And…when you feel people are not listening to you?
So what is listening and what distinguishes it from hearing?
Hearing is passive, while listening is active.
Listening is the full focus on another person, not in the outer world or inner world.
The listener is totally focused on what was said, and the way in which things are said, therefore receiving information.
It is important to convey:
To create effective interpersonal communication its a must to know when to listen.
Failure to listening robs us of time and energy during.
75% of verbal communication is lost – is misunderstood and does not receive the treatment/reference it deserves. 25% of that 75% of evaporates within a very short time, and there can be significant information in that 25%.
Listening is an acquired skill, and a skill of creating relationships and communication.
What can keep us from listening?
When we are engaged in our response to what was said previously.
When we are engaged in what to answer – ”What can I tell her? What to advise him? ”
When we are busy proving that we are right – ” Do I agree or disagree with what I hear? ”
When we are engaged in how we look and sound in the conversation.
During our conversation we think about other things – (in today's world the common rude action is to be with your smartphone constantly…and ignore the other person who is trying to get your attention)
When we make assumptions and interpret the words of the other.
When we let our mood to manage us.
We are coming from the idea of ”knowing” ( ”we/she can tell me something new that I don't know so I will cut them in the middle of their sentence”)
When we come up with perceptions (”I'm entering with agenda to the conversation no matter what”).
When we come up with opposing views to the person we are talking with.
When we are emotionally involved with the human conversation – a child, a spouse ex – and become busy with our feelings (simply is to take personally all that said in the conversation”).
When we feel attacked in the conversation – culture quarrels, misunderstandings, and a sense of detachment.
When the caller informs us that, ”we do not listen.”
When we're choosing to text important content or messages via WhatsApp or Snap chat and it leads both sides to assume assumptions and getting us far away from the main/real matter we actually wanted to discuss on. In this situation just record your self and send a verbal voice message to avoid miscommunication or just set a decent time to talk via phone or face to face.)
How can we help ourselves in the process of listening? How does it look in reality?
The Basic Rules :
We will create a relaxed physical space during the call – sitting, standing. Listening in a relaxed manner to listen to the other person.
If it’s a long-distance conversation and you cannot or are choosing to not activate a call – just wait and choose a relaxing place with an ambiance/atmosphere in order to achieve full focus of listening.
To be fully present in the conversation – to be fully focused on the other person and do not allow traffic noise or other moments to distract.
Make eye contact and physical closeness.
To take notes at important points during the conversation – you can record, record, and only remember. (be kind and ask the other person permission to do it)
Clarify the key points of the content.
Take an interest in the person who is within that conversation by asking questions, creating a relationship …
Good listeners are people who not let their ego conduct themselves during conversation and putting their intention only to listen to the other person.
Using varied listening skills.
The most important things to do are:
Reflect what the other person said to you word by word but in a natural way.
Rephrase or summarise the content of the other person which makes common sense of what they said so the other person/s will feel that you got them and clearly understand what they said.
When you have space/chance to answer or say something just ask the 5 w’s Questions in order to get more clarity which will help you to build a better answer.
Question to get time info: When?
Question to get physical info: where?
Question to get physical info: who?
Question to get physical/general Info: What?
Question to understand motive info: Why?
All the 5 w’s Questions will give you more information and likely will lead you or the other person to more clear understanding and awareness at any level of the situation.
To get more skills in listening and to get more help with your personal/work/business communication you can contact me – we provide Coaching/Training and communication skills courses and sessions on one or with and for groups.