Sam Bridger of Bridger Consultancy took the Ed Slot this week on Listening Skills.
If you don’t know how important listening skills are, just think about the last time when someone listened to you and you really felt heard. How did that feel?
Now contrast that to how you felt when you didn’t feel anyone listened, or when people interrupted or ignored what you said? Feel the difference?
Here is a quick sketch of the different depths of listening skills and some ways to improve yours:
- Respect the speaker
- Pay Attention
- Maintain eye contact
- Try and listening more actively so be present and ‘listen to understand’.
- Don’t just listen to the words 90% of understanding is non-verbal so facial expressions, body language, quality of silences, underlying emotions also give you a lot of information
- Ask questions. Be curious
- Feed back what you think you’ve heard. From time to time, check that you’ve understood what they’ve said. Summarise as best you can what you’ve heard – without interpreting it or twisting it to your own point of view. This will strengthen your ability to listen carefully because you will be calling upon yourself to check your understanding with the other person.
- Let go of needing to find an answer or be ‘right’. Stem the impulse to have an answer, solve a ‘problem’ or ‘be right’ about something.