Be an Effective Listener

"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something." – Wilson Mizner 

Listening without bias or distraction is the greatest value you can pay another person.

To be an effective listener, you must be an active participant of communication, not just the passive recipient.

Effective listening shows a concern for others. 

The goal of being an effective listener is simply to listen -- nothing more and nothing less.

Interrupting the speaker in order to offer advice disrupts the flow of conversation, and impairs the listener's ability to understand the speaker's experience.  

"I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully Most people never listen."
Ernest Hemingway 

Effective listening is achieved when you suspend judgment and receive the message.

You are genuinely interested in understanding what the other person is thinking and feeling.

Empathy is achieved when you are able to see through another person's eyes.

Stop Talking  You can't multi-task speaking and listening.

If you're talking, you're not listening.

This rule also applies to the talking inside your head.

If you're thinking intently about what you want to say, you're not listening to what is being said, if you are playing with a pen, your keys, or something else on your desk.

Over 80% of people prefer to talk to great listeners, not great speakers  

Most people have a difficult time listening because they think they know what they are going to hear.

They are seeking confirmation for their beliefs, not new information.

What is being said is interfering in what they think should be said.

Often people don't listen attentively, because they are thinking about what they want to say or they are thinking about something else.

This attitude often results in misunderstanding, conflicts, and ruins relationships.

Listening seems to occur so naturally that putting a lot of effort into it doesn't seem necessary.

However, hard work and effort is exactly what effective listening requires.

Often when people talk with each other, they don't listen effectively or they are not showing the person there talking with they are not listening, they are often distracted, they are thinking about what they want to say or are thinking about something else. 

Those attitudes often result in misunderstanding, conflicts, and broken relationships.

When someone is talking, maintain eye contact with that person. 

Show the speaker you are listening by nodding your head, your body language transmit the message that you are listening, lean forward and not use your hands to play with things. 

Most communication experts agree that nonverbal messages can be three times as powerful as verbal messages.

Effective communication becomes difficult anytime you send a nonverbal message that you're not really listening.

When listening, do not make immediate judgments about what the speaker is saying.

Do not assume or guess what the speaker is going to say next, you will often discover later that you failed to interpret correctly what the speaker was talking about. 

As a listener you can listen at a faster rate than most speakers talk, there is a tendency to evaluate too quickly.

That tendency is perhaps the greatest barrier to effective listening.

It is especially important to avoid early evaluations when listening to a person with whom you disagree.

When listeners begin to disagree with a sender's message, they tend to misinterpret the remaining information and distort its intended meaning so that it is consistent with their own beliefs.

When listening avoid getting defensive, do not take what another person says personally when what her or she is saying is not meant to be personal.

If you find yourself becoming angry at what another person says, you will become a ineffective listener 

Effective listening does not mean that you will always agree with the speakers point of view, but it does mean that you will try to listen to what the other person is saying without becoming overly defensive.

When you spend your time explaining, elaborating, and defending your decision or position this is a sure sign that you are not listening, because your role has changed from one of listening to a role of convincing others they are wrong. 

There is plenty of time after the speaker has completed their thoughts to respond. 

Effective listeners can listen calmly to another person even when that person is offering unjust criticism.

As an effective listener you will become even a better listener, effective listening puts aside the belief that listening is easy and it is just natural, the result of effective listening will help you to become more efficient and effective communicator.

           Effective listeners show the speaker they have been heard and understood.   

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