Although we may try really hard to focus on what someone is saying, it can be very easy to get distracted and tune out in the middle of a conversation. As we aim to consider and understand others around us, it is important to be a good listener and show the speaker the same respect you would want if you were talking to them. Here are some tips to help you improve your listening skills!
LISTENING SKILL 1: BE ATTENTIVE
When someone is speaking, it is important to pay attention and stay focused on what they are saying. Ensure that you are not getting distracted and thinking about other things that have nothing to do with the conversation. It is important to listen carefully and show respect to whoever is talking.
LISTENING SKILL 2: DO NOT INTERRUPT
Sometimes, we may unintentionally interrupt the speaker for several reasons. You may have needed to ask a question, ask for further clarification on what they have said, or interrupted because you wanted to share a thought that relates to the topic. However, doing this may distract you and cause you to forget what the speaker was saying. To ensure that you listen attentively, it is important to not interrupt and use self-control.
LISTENING SKILL 3: ASK THEM TO REPEAT
Taking in a lot of information at once can be challenging for many people. To be a good listener means to understand what the speaker is saying. When someone is talking to you and you didn’t catch what they were saying or do not understand, ask them to repeat or rephrase what they said for better clarification. Keep in mind to not interrupt but rather ask them to repeat when they finish talking.
LISTENING SKILL 4: NONVERBAL CUES
How you communicate nonverbally can also influence your listening skills. Here are some examples of nonverbal cues that you can demonstrate as a good listener:
- Adjusting your body language
- Facing the speaker
- Maintaining eye contact
LISTENING SKILL 5: VISUALIZE
You can also work on being a good listener by visualizing what the speaker is telling you. If someone is telling you a story about what happened to them the other day, you can try to imagine and make the story come to life in your mind to help you better understand and remember what they are telling you.
Being a good listener is a valuable skill to have because you communicate with people every single day! For example, your parents letting you know your schedule for the day, or your friend telling you a really funny story. Improving your listening skills is important not only because you are showing respect to others, but it also helps YOU grow and learn new things from other people! Next time you have a conversation with someone, we hope you keep these tips in mind!
LEARN MORE ABOUT LISTENING AT MOORELANDS KIDS
At Moorelands Kids, we help children and youth become great listeners. See how we do it.