Little did I know… in my early 20’s, people simply wanted to feel heard!
Listening to someone in such a way that they feel heard is a very powerful skill that few know how to effectively pull off.
Who wants to love, talk to or do business with someone that obviously doesn’t know how to listen?
No one! It’s really annoying, especially once you know how to do it. You end up seeing how poor others are at it.
In my 30’s I took this skill of listening, which is actually called “SUPPORT” to the next level and everything seemed to take off in a good way.
Here’s a few tools that I used to hone my craft:
Spending 5 minutes a day in silence helped me re-calibrate my brain and directly increased my ability to listen. I became aware of the subtle nuances in everything around me, especially other people when they were talking.
Practiced Active Eye Contact
Someone once told me that the eyes are the gateway to the soul. The meaning of those words were more clear as I became a better listener. The more I kept eye contact with people the more focused my mind was and the more I cared about what they were saying. It also lets the speaker know I was actually paying attention.
I grew up with Tourettes so this was really hard to do, but worth working on! We all have challenges to work through.
Practiced Letting The Speaker Finish
The worst habit I had to get over was stepping over someone BEFORE they were finished talking. FInishing their sentences for them was considered rude (???) No one likes people who cut them off. It’s annoying and it conveys, “I don’t care what you have to say because what I have to say is more important). It’s disrespectful and it shows that the listener was really just waiting to speak oppose to actually listening.
Early on in my life, I was always so quick to give my response and assume I knew what they were talking about or needing. Try to appreciate the speakers position and thoughts. A great way to show that you heard what they were saying to you is by simply repeating their overall message or last part of their sentence. An easy tool is to ask them what they feel about what they just said (Actually is a very high level tool for letting someone feel heard and understood — try it sometime and you’ll see someone instantly transform).
It may feel a bit awkward or different to start taking notes during a normal everyday conversation with someone, but it’s something that they will greatly appreciate if the conversation is important.
Hope this helps and if you’re looking for more support in communication skills, you could try visiting CoachRanking or the Special Offers page to get some more great free training on it from a specialist.