Effective Listening Skills - An essential for good communication
Listening is a significant part of communication process. Communication cannot take place until and unless a message is heard and retained thoroughly and positively by the receivers/listeners. Listening is a dynamic process. Listening means attentiveness and interest perceptible in the posture as well as expressions. Listening implies decoding (i.e., translating the symbols into meaning) and interpreting the messages correctly in communication process.
Listening differs from hearing in sense that:
Hearing implies just perceiving the sounds while listening means listening with understanding whatever you are listening. Both the body as well as mind is involved in listening process.
Listening is an active process while hearing is a passive activity.
Hearing is an effortless activity while listening is an act requiring conscious efforts, concentration and interest. Listening involves both physical and psychological efforts.
Effective listening requires both deliberate efforts and a keen mind. Effective listeners appreciate flow of new ideas and information. Organizations that follow the principles of effective listening are always informed timely, updated with the changes and implementations, and are always out of crisis situation. Effective listening promotes organizational relationships, encourages product delivery and innovation, as well as helps organization to deal with the diversity in employees and customers it serves.
To improve your communication skills, you must learn to listen effectively. Effective listening gives you an advantage and makes you more impressive when you speak. It also boosts your performance.
Effective Listening Skills
Discover your interests’ field.
Grasp and understand the matter/content.
Remain calm. Do not loose your temper. Anger hampers and inhibits communication. Angry people jam their minds to the words of others.
Be open to accept new ideas and information.
Jot down and take a note of important points.
Work upon listening. Analyze and evaluate the speech in spare time.
Rephrase and summarize the speaker’s ideas.
Keep on asking questions. This demonstrates that how well you understand the speaker’s ideas and also that you are listening.
“Step into the shoes of others”, i.e., put yourself in the position of the speaker and observe things from his view point. This will help creating an atmosphere of mutual understanding and improve the exchange of ideas in communication process.