Being a good speaker is easy, but being a good listener is a lot harder. If you're trying to work on your listening skills, The Wall Street Journal outlines a few simple tips to help you tune in.
Photo by Jonathan Powell
The process here is simple:
- Take notes to stay focused while listening (obviously this one doesn't work in everyday conversation).
- Paraphrase what you think the speaker said and ask if you're on target.
- Ask clarifying questions to sharpen the focus of the conversation.
- Notice the speaker's body language and facial expressions as potential sources ofmeaning.
- Use pauses to reflect or draw out more information.
With that, you should be on your way to being a better listener. While you're at it, make sure you put that phone down during the conversation, clear you mind of any distractions, and pay attention to what the other person's saying.
Tuning In: Improving Your Listening Skills [The Wall Street Journal]