Three Tips to Become a Better Listener

By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina

Ever sit through an interview or work conversation and not remember what was said? Effective listening takes effort. Let’s explore three tips to becoming a better listener.

Eliminate distractions While we may pride ourselves on multi-tasking, try blocking out distractions and really focus on what is being said. This means not checking your phone, reading or thinking of all the things you need to do besides taking part in this discussion. This also means focusing on what they are saying and not thinking about what you will say next.

Go beyond words Interpersonal communication includes body language and tone of voice. If all you do is listen to the other person’s words, you may be missing most of their communication.

Be aware of your own body language Are you looking the other person in their eyes? You want your body language to show that you are engaged: sitting up and leaning forward with an open stance, not with your arms folded over your chest.

Summarize and seek confirmation Try repeating or summarizing the other person’s words to check your understanding and show you are hearing them.

Listening is a two-way street If others perceive you as a good listener, you stand a better chance of them listening closer to what you say, too. Try these tips to improve your listening skills.

Want to learn more about being an effective listener? Check out this this learning opportunity on GCFGlobal.