Recall the time you are talking to a friend or co-worker. Did you just hear or listen to him? It should be careful that even more than ourselves, the other side is quickly capable of detecting either of these two modes. Our intention in this article is not merely to express this difference, but we also want to emphasize the need to pay attention to active listening skills as a key skill in improving communication, and ways to develop it.
Active listening is one of the skills that can be learned and improved with practice. However, the mastery of this skill seems to be difficult and requires time and patience. The concept of “active listening” as its name implies is actively engaging in listening and understanding the message the audience sends us. In fact, instead of hearing the implicit message, all attention will be paid to the speaker.
In listening effectively, all senses are focused on the hearings and full attention is paid to the speaker’s speeches. Actually, acoustic listening is especially important, because otherwise the speaker will accept that the listener is not interested in hearing his resume.
The presentation of the attention to the speaker can be transmitted through verbal or non-verbal messages. Using eye contact, shaking the head to confirm, smiling, showing accompaniment or agreeing with the speaker’s speeches, and saying “yes” or “right” words can persuade the speaker to continue talking. When people are given feedback, they usually feel more comfortable and, therefore, show a more open and intimate relationship.
Listening is one of the most basic interpersonal communication skills. Listening is different, and it does not happen by chance; it is an active process that is shaped by a deliberate decision and an understanding of the messages of the speaker. The person who listens to the conversation must stay neutral and not judge, which means that prejudice or conscience, especially in the early days of the conversation, will not take place. In active listening, things like boredom – pauses and short silences must be taken into consideration. Listeners should not disturb their focus by asking their questions and opinions in silent seconds. In effective listening, you have to give the opposite time to express your thoughts and feelings.
Effective listening requires not only the listener’s full attention to the speaker, but also verbal and nonverbal signings. Generally speaking, listeners expect listeners to be given proper answers to their conversations.
In the sequel, we refer to the inherent signs of listening, which people usually show when they talk to others. However, these symptoms may not be appropriate for any situation or in different cultures. Signs of active listening are divided into verbal and nonverbal cues.
1- Non-verbal messages Attention or active listening:
Short smiles are usually used to express a conversation, as well as a method for confirming and expressing satisfaction with the received message. Smiles are powerful tools when they are shaking hands to confirm messages that are heard and understood.
Usually looking at the speaker, the speaker is encouraged to keep talking. Of course, eye contact may cause feelings of embarrassment and shame for people, especially those who are low and shy. As a result, eye contact should be based on the situation. In order to persuade people to have a combination of eye contact with a smile and other nonverbal messages.
The situation of the speaker and the listener’s gesture in their interpersonal interaction can indicate a lot of points. The one who listens carefully is usually placed in front of the speaker. Another indication of an active hearing is the position of a deliberate head or gesture (placing the hand below the chin) in front of the speaker.
Facial and reflexive facial expressions are usually one of the hallmarks of active listening. Facial expressions are used in emotional situations to show companionship and intimacy.
Anyone actively listening to the speaker’s speech will not be distracted. As a result, she refrains from showing things like restlessness, looking at the clock, playing with nails, and … a sign of disregard for the speaker’s talk.
2- Verbal Listening Together:
Although positive reinforcement is a strong indication of conversation, the listener should be cautious when using it. Although it is effective to use some positive words to encourage the narrator, the listener should consider that he avoids them when distracted by the distractor and merely an unnecessary emphasis on his speeches. Frequent use of words and sentences such as “very good”, “yes” or “perfectly correct” can cause annoyance of the speaker. Therefore, it is better to explain why you agree with your point of view.
The human mind is usually a big weakness in remembering details, especially if it takes too much time. But nevertheless, remembering some key words, even the name of the speaker can help the messages be transmitted and understood correctly. Remembering the details, ideas and concepts of the previous statement also indicates the listener’s attention and encourages the speaker to continue his conversations. During long talk, taking notes in summary form can be a good tool for questioning or clarifying the content.
Ask a question and clarify ambiguity:
The listener can point his attention to the announcer by asking related questions or expressing comments that clarify the content. By asking related questions, the listener also expresses his interest in listening. Turning ambiguity is usually done using open questions, which prompts the speaker to express his or her own point of view.
Reflection is in fact the same as the repetition and retelling of the sentences that the speaker has put forward in his speech and is one of the strong skills in demonstrating the message’s comprehension of the speaker.
Review the words:
Repeating a summary of the material told to the speaker is a way for the listener to express the content with his words. This method involves expressing the views of the received messages and re-using them in a rational way, and if there is any point, the speaker will correct them.
Considering the points made in both the verbal and non-verbal areas and with their continuous training, you can strengthen the active listening skills and determine the level and quality of your communication with others, both in your personal life and career path. You improved. Keep in mind that these recommendations will work when you turn them into institutionalized and sustainable behavioral features. Because one important principle in communication is: always be yourself!