How to Become a Good Listener

April 12, 2019

Leadership success depends on good relationships with the people you lead.  Building this relationships is sometimes not easy and the one vital ingredient is communication.  In this article Jemma Scott highlights four critical factors to be a better communicator.

Communication is one of the most vital factors in relationships be them personal or professional. Miscommunication has been one of the prominent reasons for confusion and arguments. An incredibly important aspect of communication is listening. Many people hear but do not listen and this can not only break down relationships and communication but also ends in wrong interpretation. In this informative article we look at ways to be a good listener and some of the qualities and characteristics of a good listener.

Ways To Become A Good Listener

1. A Good Listener Don’t talk

When the other person is talking, do not talk. You cannot talk and listen at the same time. To become a good listener you should give the person talking your full attention and not interrupt until they are finished. Do not fiddle with the objects around you and maintain eye contact with the person speaking. Body language is a means of communication on its own so nod once in a while and have a relaxed demeanor.

2. Indicate that you have listened

When the person talking has finished repeat in your own words and understanding what they have told you. This will show that you were actually listening and interested in what they were saying. Ask the speaker whether you have understood and if not, ask them to explain further to you. If there is some sort of conflict involved, the message may get blurred so to make sure this does not happen; you must both be on the same page in terms of the message meaning.

3. Patience

Patience is a prominent aspect of characteristics of a good listener. Avoid interrupting or finishing the person talking’s sentences. Be patient with the person talking and let them get their message out even if it takes them a while and if they stutter or pause. This will indicate that they are worth the wait and you truly want to understand what is being said.

4. Manners

Even if in conflict with the speaker or if you disagree with what is being said, always maintain respect and courtesy for them, this is important among qualities of a good listener. Never raise your voice and scream, try and maintain a level tone of voice but do not whisper. In if a professional setting, you will only look unprofessional and rude if you scream or react inappropriately; do not swear and get personal.

Jemma Scott has had much experience with communication and looks at ways to improve your listening as well as ways to improve business communication.

About the author

Joseph Hawking has a passion for people & leadership development and since he discovered his mom’s old typewriter as a boy, have been writing in some form or another. He is part of the Leadership for The International Mentoring Network, where he is a regular Idea Studio Facilitator and Annual IMN Conference Speaker. He believes that the highest form of living is using what you have been blessed with, to add value to other people’s lives. He has been publishing The Leadership Connexion blog since August 2018.