I have had a few lessons in actually listening lately as I tend to let my mind wander. I have found that this is a non negotiable as I miss important details only to have to ask again and feel inadequate as I have always had a good memory and because of not listening with my full attention I have felt like I am letting myself and my daughters down. My focus has now changed and I listen with intention to hear what is said and absorbing each and every detail.
STAY FULLY PRESENT
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to listening is staying fully in the moment. Instead of thinking about what to say next or indulging in thoughts unrelated to the conversation stay engaged in what the person is saying and be a good listener and stay 100% in the moment.
Life is filled with distractions, but being a good listener means limiting the distractions as much as possible. Put your phone down so you are not tempted to look at it when a notification comes through. Put your phone face down and listen with intent. The message or notification will always be there when your conversation is over.
My daughters and i have a rule when we eat dinner to place our phones face down and ignore any notifications until we have finished.
BE OK WITH SILENCE
Embracing silence is a skill of a good listener. Silence during a conversation allows you and the other person to gather their thoughts to continue speaking allowing you to gather your thoughts as to what has been said.
ASK IN DEPTH QUESTIONS
Instead of asking questions which require a one worded answer, try asking more in depth questions that will require more information. These type of questions will keep the conversation flowing and maybe show a deeper level of interest.
PAY ATTENTION TO CUES
Listening is not just about the words being said. Listening well includes body language and tone as they can tell you more about what is going on than what is being said. Responding verbally and physically are equally important when having a conversation.
Adapted from positively present || Image pinterest
Do you listen with intent all the time or do you tend to wander during conversations?