How to Become a Good Listener – A Crucial Quality to Master

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How to Become a Good Listener – A Crucial Quality to Master
23 May 2022
5 min read

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Active or effective listening is such an underrated ability. People listen to reply, not to understand. When you start listening to understand the person, you unlock high-quality listening. You can predict your leadership skills by knowing how well and how frequently you listen to others when having a conversation. Effective listening describes your leadership potential more than personality or actual intelligence. This article will tell you about types of listening and their importance. #TWN

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Active or effective listening is such an underrated ability. People listen to reply, not to understand. When you start listening to understand the person, you unlock high-quality listening. You can predict your leadership skills by knowing how well and how frequently you listen to others when having a conversation. Effective listening describes your leadership potential more than personality or actual intelligence.

Studies have shown that a good listener always performs better at work and has a high level of well-being. This article is all about how to become a good listener. In this article, you will know about different types of listening skills that a person needs to have. Be an active reader, and you will know about the importance of listening. In the end, I will tell you about some barriers to effective listening and how you can overcome them.

Let’s make your active listening more effective!

How can you become a good listener?

The simple answer to this is SLR (Not a BGMI gun name). It means when someone is speaking to you, just:

  • Shut up
  • Listen
  • And Repeat.

Importance of Listening

Listening is not just lending an ear when someone asks for it and ignoring them the rest of the time. Listening is something as important as eyelids are for your eyes. Let’s know why:

  • It fosters respect and trust. Active listening skills demonstrate to the other individual that you care about what they are trying to say. When people trust you, they are much more likely to come to you. It could be a partner with whom you had a dispute, a child or adolescent who wants to confide in you, or a coworker hoping to resolve some work-related problems.
  • Active listening skills increase your chances of truly knowing the person and their circumstance or need. You feel compassion for the other person. Empathy is characterized as the capacity to empathize with other people or another person. If necessary, the door is wide open to problem-solving or a more open discussion of the issue. By listening, you give yourself the essential insight into what they have to imply.
  • Nonverbal communication skills, such as eye contact, leaning in, or head nods, letting the other person know you're interested and paying attention. You appear to be interested. It enables individuals to be more open and honest. People are much more likely to speak openly if they believe they are being heard.
  • Active listening skills can aid in the resolution of conflict, anger, and resentment. We generally assume what people are thinking and feeling when we don't communicate with them. Regrettably, this can lead to misunderstandings and the development of anger, resentment, and other negative feelings. If you are using active listening skills, you will learn what others are feeling and thinking rather than assuming.

Now you know why listening is important and how you can use it for your own benefit.

Types of Listening You Must Know

Let’s know about the types of listening which will help you take adequate decisions while someone is talking to you.

  1. Informational Listening

You will use informational listening to comprehend and remember things when you want to learn something. This type of listening usually necessitates a lot of dedication. It is because understanding a new concept requires intense concentration.

You must also apply critical thinking to your learning. This is done so that you can fully comprehend what you're learning in the context of other information.

When you understand how and when to use informational listening, you give yourself the ability to become a better learner. You might become a more important commodity at work by vigorously learning and developing yourself.

You can also feel excited at home if you pursue your interests and learn something new.

  1. Discriminative Listening

Discriminative listening is the very first type of listening you are born with. Everyone is born with discriminative listening abilities. This type of listening is used before you really know how to understand language. Discriminative listening relies on voice tone, voice inflections, and other modifications in sound rather than words. Before they could even understand words, babies use discriminative listening to understand the intent of a phrase. They will smile and laugh if someone speaks to them in a joyful and entertained tone of voice. They can also tell who is speaking because different voices are recognized.

However, discriminative listening is not limited to infants. When listening to a conversation in a foreign language, you will almost certainly use your discriminative listening skills.

You will be able to analyze tone and intonations to get an understanding of what's going on. Nonverbal cues can also be used to listen and analyze. For example, a person's facial expressions, body posture, and other gestures can reveal a lot about the definition of a message. Even if you comprehend someone's language, you should not dismiss discriminative listening. The above listening style is essential for picking up on subtle cues in communication. This listening skill can assist you in reading between the lines and hearing what is left unsaid.

  1. Biased Listening

Selective listening is another term for biased listening.

Someone who engages in biased listening will only pay heed to info that they want to hear.

This listening process has the potential to distort facts. It's because the person wanting to listen isn't completely tuned in to what the speaker is saying.

  1. Sympathetic Listening

Emotion drives sympathetic listening. Instead of concentrating on the information delivered through words, the listener concentrates on the speaker's feelings and emotions. It is intended to allow these emotions and feelings to be processed. You can provide the necessary support to the speaker by using sympathetic listening. You can comprehend how they truly feel rather than what they say they feel.

When you pay attention in this manner, the speaker will feel appreciated and validated. If you want to develop a deeper connection with somebody in your life, you must practice sympathetic listening.

  1. Comprehensive Listening

Comprehensive listening, as opposed to discriminative listening, necessitates language skills. This kind of listening is typically developed during childhood.

Folks use comprehensive listening to comprehend what others are saying.

Comprehensive listening is the foundation for several other types of listening. For example, to use explanatory listening and learn new things, you must first use comprehensive listening.

To comprehend the signals people give you at work and in your life, you'll most likely use a mixture of comprehensive and discriminatory listening.

  1. Therapeutic Listening

Empathetic listening can help you see things from other people's perspectives. You can use this type of listening to attempt to understand someone else's point of view as they speak. You also can try to put yourself in the shoes of the other person.

Instead of focusing solely on their message, use empathetic listening to connect to another person's experiences as if they were your own. This is not the same as sympathetic listening.

To provide support, you need to understand someone's feelings through sympathetic listening. However, you do not essentially try imagining what it would be like to be in their shoes.

  1. Critical Listening

Critical listening will be required if you need to analyze complex information. Critical thinking while having to listen is more in-depth than passive listening. Instead of accepting relevant data at face value, use critical listening to assess what is being said.

When it comes to problem-solving at work, critical listening is essential.

Knowing all these types of listening will make you a potential leader and bring a shine to your personality as an individual.

Barriers to Effective Listening

There can be many barriers to effective or active listening. These barriers might look like nothing, but they cause a lot more harm if they are left unattended. These are the following distractions:

  • External Distractions
  • Message Intent or Semantics
  • Speaker Distractions
  • Emotional Language
  • Personal Perspective

Let’s talk about how you can overcome these barriers to active listening.

External Distractions - External Distraction is the most straightforward barrier to overcome. Find a quiet spot and sit with your rear to the windows, away from both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Message Intent or Semantics - This is fairly simple to deal with by having to ask clarifying questions. Never ever let an acronym swing by unchallenged, and when in doubt, use "What...?" questions. "What do you mean by...?" is the most basic form.

Speaker Distractions - It is one of the trickier hurdles to clear. The first step is to recognize that you are being distracted by the speaker. If the person speaking is distracting you, try paraphrasing or reflecting frequently. Don't let the distraction get to the moment where you actually stop listening.

Emotional Language - Another complicated one for all of us who lack emotional control. While it may appear counterintuitive, given that we are discussing the ability to rephrase and reflect on what the speaker says, this is the time to stop the presenter and call them out for the extreme language. Inform them that you want to hear what they have to say and engage with them, but it is difficult to debate when one person is using emotion or intense language.

Personal Perspective - Personal baggage is, in my opinion, the most challenging noise to conquer when listening. It is due to the fact that baggage usually provokes emotions that cause us to lose control of ourselves. The technique is to be on the lookout for emotional triggers. Were you still not paying attention? Have you turned red in the face? Are you more concerned with what you're going to say than with what the client is saying? If you recognize that you are responding poorly and are unable to instantly recover your effective listening capacity, request a brief break.

Conclusion

Active listening is something that needs time to master, but once you learn to do it, you will see how effective your leadership has become. Your personality will be on another level when you master the art of active listening. We hope you actually listened to this article rather than just reading it.