What Makes You a Good Listener? 7 Ways to Become a Better Communicator
Listening is a skill that can help you form more meaningful relationships with your family, friends, and coworkers. It also allows you to process information and glean new ideas that can help you in the future. If you are not a great listener, there are many ways to improve your skills and become a better communicator.
1. Good Listeners Stay In the Moment
Often, people think of listening as being like a sponge that accurately absorbs what they are saying, but it isn’t. In fact, a good listener is like a trampoline — they amplify, energize, and clarify your thinking so you don’t have to absorb all of it yourself.
2. They Focus on the Speaker
Good listeners pay attention to what their speaker is saying and try to understand their story and point of view. They don’t immediately jump in with their own thoughts and advice; they allow the speaker to talk through their problems and then offer their assistance when they ask for it.
3. They Follow Along With Their Facial Expressions
Good listeners try to get a clear picture of what the other person is saying by paying close attention to their facial expressions and body language. They look interested and make eye contact, but they don’t overwhelm the speaker with their expressions or awe-inspiring volume.
4. They Repeat Back What They Heard
A good listener is able to repeat what their speaker has said almost verbatim. They do this so they can be sure that they have fully understood what the speaker has said.
5. They Repeat What They Heard to Explain It
A great listener is able to explain what they have heard so the speaker can understand it in their own words. They do this by restating what the speaker has said and re-emphasizing it.
6. They Know When to Ask Questions
A great listener asks follow-up questions when they hear something they want to know more about. This lets the speaker know that they are paying attention and that they care about what they have to say.
7. They Relate With the Speaker
A good listener is able to relate to their speaker in a meaningful way. They can see what the speaker is going through, understand their feelings and opinions, and be supportive of the person.
They also recognize that there are many different communication styles, so they adjust their listening to fit the speaker’s preferences.
8. They Are Not Inattentive
A bad listener is unable to focus on the speaker because they are busy with other things, such as talking on their phone or texting. They also have a tendency to interrupt the speaker as they are trying to finish their thought.
9. They Have a Low Self-Efficacy
A poor listener has a low self-confidence and can’t see what others are going through. This can make them feel that their own issues are unimportant or insignificant, so they don’t want to listen to what others are saying.