[vimeo id = "120187402"] You know, most people struggle with retaining information. A study published in the Harvard Business Review discovered that the majority of people only retain half of what they hear immediately after hearing it. If you asked them six months later, they only would remember a quarter of that information. This got me thinking about the conversations that I have throughout the day. I started wondering what I might be missing in my discussion and how I could become a better listener. There’s a lot that we’ll miss as we interact with people, but the article highlighted some ideas that we can do to become better. I’ll share some of the thoughts along with my own.
First, pay attention to yourself. What are things that keep you from being a good listener? Are you an extrovert who is used to doing most of the talking? Or are you already thinking of a response before the other person has finished speaking? Whatever the reason, be aware of when you begin to tune out someone’s conversation. Think about what caused you to lose track of the discussion. You may just have a lot on your mind or you’re stressed out. However, the bottom line is that you have to know why you are a bad listener before you can discern how you can be a good listener.
Second, care about what they say. You know that feeling when you’re sharing your passion with someone, and then that person blows it off with “that’s nice”? It’s terrible. You feel as if everything you said was pointless. It’s a principle that if someone is taking the time to talk to you about something, it means it’s valuable to them. They will be looking for validation and input from you. So as a listener we have to find what is being discussed as something meaningful. The subject may not be the most exciting thing in your mind, but what’s important is that the speaker cares about it. So take time to care about it, because the speaker took the time to say it.
Third, listening does not mean silence. As noted above, the speaker is looking for input and validation. Silence is not validating. Silence may mean you are listening, but it could also mean you are bored and not participating. Responding with your own stories may also be unhelpful because it diverts attention to you. The same goes for trying to fix a problem the person mentioned. Most of the time people are expressing themselves, and they might just want someone to listen. The best way to show you’re listening is to ask questions. Questions show interest. Questions show that you care. Questions keep the focus on the speaker and don’t divert the attention to you.
Thanks for visiting my blog today. I hope you find these points helpful in your own adventure of life. I definitely like to hear from you, so please feel free to share a few comments below. Thanks again for checking out my blog! Have a great day!