In our society people tend to know three things very well:
- what it means to be busy
- how to put the focus and attention on self
- the familiarity of constant noise.
This is why it is difficult for people to carry genuine conversation out. Being able to converse is a necessity to social development as well as growth in most fields of work. It requires being both active in speaking and listening. It is the latter of these that people often have difficulty with, yet that is what really makes a conversation significant. When someone comes to you with a need or concern, you have to be able to hear them out so you can respond properly and help.
After reading the News U course Lousy Listeners, I was able to take a few key lessons away:
- If you are concerned about the person, then don’t be afraid to show it and voice it through posture, control of body movements, nodding your head, smiling (when appropriate), summarize well, and empathize.
- If someone approaches you wanting to talk and you do not have the time, kindly let them know and schedule a time that you can.
- Make sure that you understand what the person is saying. Probe for clarification. Put aside your own views and opinions to gain their perspective. Sum up what you are hearing them say.
- It’s important to set aside other tasks.
- Do not make the other person feel rushed. Also, be patient and slow to speak because our brains think quicker than the other person can speak.
A surprising piece of information to me was the “partier” profile–someone who invites lots of other people in while a person is trying to have a conversation with them.
I would like to know some specific questions that are always good to ask to draw out more information.
How do you avoid being a lousy listener?