As basic as it sounds, the term good listening has lost its meaning in the contemporary day and age. People are so busy with their own lives and insecurities that they barely pay attention to what other people have to say. Sitting down with someone and just listening to their issues might be the only help that they need. At first listening may seem as a passive activity but it’s a process that requires a conscious effort and active participation. Hearing is basic to humans but hearing and listening are not the same things. One might use these two terms interchangeably but its far from true. Hearing is a biological process but listening is more of a social as well as a psychological process wherein you pay attention to what you hear, give it enough thought and then make a judgement about it or it might just add novel information to your existing knowledge of the subject.
- Be attentive and maintain eye contact
First and foremost, step to becoming a good listener is to pay close attention to what others have to say. If the person feels that he is being listened to it gives him a sense of importance and security with you and this creates a more trusting and encouraging environment. If, in a conversation you are looking here and there then this is a clear non verbal cue that you are not interested, that’s why its important to make eye contact during your conversations.
- Be patient, non-judgemental and empathetic
Any conversation can happen between two people if they give it proper time and patiently hear to what they have to tell each other therefore it becomes very important to be patient while listening and not hurry through the conversation because such hurried conversation may become grounds for misunderstandings and create a rift between people. Humans are bound to make certain judgements about things they listen to but while listening to someone else you need to be empathetic and create a non-judgementalenvironment. People feel secure in such positive and trusting environment. This might be a little difficult to implement in everyday life as it goes against our basic nature of making judgements but if you try to look at the situation through the lens of the other person it will help you to think against your own beliefs. Hence you need to be open to new and different ideas.
- Do not interrupt
This is something very basic. It’s considered to be very rude if you interrupt someone when they are talking. Always wait for the other person to finish and once the other person is done talking then put forward your points if you have any or ask for clarifications if required.
- Do not listen to answer back
One of the basic reasons why people get in a conflict is that they listen to talk back instead of understanding what the other person is trying to say. Don’t be rigid in terms of your ideologies and completely negate the possibility of existence of diverse ideologies. Make room for varying ideas, thoughts and cultures. Be a little more tolerant it will not only help you become a good listener but will also broaden your horizon and allow you to think big.
Advantages of being a good listener is two-fold. It helps you in professional as well as personal sphere.
- Increases efficiency
In a professional space it’s all about team work and a team cannot function properly if the team members do not coordinate with one another and to be able to coordinate smoothly one has to listen to what others are saying. In a space everyone listens to their team members the productivity increases as they are able to work in accordance to each other.
- Lesser conflicts
At an organization there exist an umbrella of relationship dynamics and these relationship dynamics need to be maintained in order to ensure that you have a harmonious work space around you. Any conflict with a certain person affects all your other relationships in a work space as people work closely in such environments. Such conflicts generally arise out of petty mistakes and misunderstandings hence if you are patient enough to stop and listen before lashing out then you might be able to avoid such work place conflicts which if not resolved might lead to anxiety issues.
- Helps you form a rapport
Everyone wants to be heard and if people think of you as a person who listens they will be happy to approach you, this helps you build a rapport with your colleagues, subordinates and even your superiors. Having good relationships with people in your office or work space gives you a sense of security and also motivates you to go to office and work with them.
- Lesser conflicts
Conflicts with your loved ones causes a lot of anxiety and stress and nobody really wants that to happen. One of the easiest ways to avoid such conflicts is to just start to listen. Many people complain about the fact that their partners or family members don’t have time for them so for once if you just start to listen to the needs of your loved ones it will help you eliminate a lot of your personal life conflicts.
- Healthy relationships
Once you start to listen you get to know about the needs of your loved ones better and you are able to fulfill them in such a scenario wherein you are aware of your friends and family’s needs you will be able to have a more wholesome and healthy relationship with them which is something everyone today longs for.
- Approachable personality
Everyone wants to have a healthy group to feel secure and to feel a sense of importance and if you are perceived as someone who is easy to talk to and is sensitive towards their feelings then people would want to talk to you which will ensure that your presence is felt.
Listening is very important for your own mental health as well as for the mental health of people around you. Conflicts, mistakes and misunderstandings are all causes of anxiety and stress and this can be avoided by just adopting a little exercise of listening. It initially might take a little efforts and time of yours but it will have a really positive and healthy effect on your everyday life. It will help you become a better version of yourself, something that we as individuals are driven to become.
Today everyone is so consumed in their own life that you might it difficult to find someone who actually listens to you and helps you solve your problems that’s why team FeelJoy has come up with this innovative idea of ‘Buddy System’ where you can talk to people or your ‘buddy’ anonymously and tell them all about your issues and problems. These ‘buddies’ will help you deal with your problems. So, if you ever feel that you have no one to talk to or share your feelings with team FeelJoy is there for you.
Find a BUDDY to share all your problems with (even anonymously, if you want) on the FeelJoy Mobile App available for all Android users.