This article focuses on the various techniques and methods to develop effective listening strategies. These effective listening strategies are discussed below:
Effective Listening Strategies
Position yourself mentally
Stop talking, and put aside your little chores, and come to grips with the speaker.
Make the Speaker comfortable
Give emotional encouragement to the speaker by a welcoming attitude to the message. Show that you want to listen. A smile, eye contact or an encouraging phrase like “Please go ahead”, “ok” and “right” etc may work.
Tune in to the spoken message
Adjust your mental attitude to the subject and the message even if it is surprising or new. Be receptive and be positive about it. This is empathy – to fee as the speaker feels.
The speaker may have a long story to unwind. It may sound overly long. He/she may have a long-winded way about it. He/she may not find word quickly, be halting in speech, wandering in the mind. He may be unorganized. These entire situations require a patient response if the speaker is important to your business.
Don not interrupt
An interruption may break the speaker’s chain of thought or annoy him/her. Sometimes you had better listen to it all even if you now it. A show of your knowledge may reduce the speaker’s importance.
Concentrate with effort
Some managers have a radio playing in the background while holding a discussion. The listener must mentally switch out the song etc and switch in the talk. This requires an audio filter in you. With concentration this is possible.
Check your Temper
If the listener is rude or angry, the vital input may stop. Differences can be expressed politely; mistakes can be withstood with generosity.
Be soft in expressing criticism
Criticism is disapproval of the other person’s acts or words may be of his whole personality. Most people would welcome criticism if it comes as a suggestion. “That was silly of you” can be replaced by “But you could have done it otherwise” or “you still can do it otherwise”.
Appreciate and Encourage
As an individual listener, you may smile or utter words of praise. “Wonderful” or “Well done” can be inserted while listening. As a member of a mass audience, you may cheer the speaker. As a proactive listener, you may become a cheerleader.
Questions help you to direct the talk the way you are interested and help the speaker organize his message, edit it to the point. Questions can also be a form of encouragement, and a part of effective listening strategies.
Be sincere in your reactions
As a busy and practical manager, you do well to express your opinion honestly, without a false gloss to it. People who express themselves honestly (though tactfully) are eventually better liked. Sincerity, of course, requires self-confidence.
Close on a cordial note
Reconciliation is the aim of all human transactions. Hence, after you have differed and argued, let the conversation end on a pleasant note. In diplomacy, this is of paramount importance – to keep the gates open for further talk. “Let’s agree to disagree” can be your motto.
Thus in order to become a good listener, and, hence a good communicator, you need to have a knowledge of these effective listening strategies to make listening effective.
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