Learning to be a Good Listener is Simple

 (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)
(Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)

Being a good listener is a great trait to have. However, it’s not something many of us do well. For the most part, we listen to others while thinking about what we want to say next. This means we aren’t really hearing what others have to say, and it’s always obvious to those doing the talking. Being a good listener is a trait that can only improve your life in every aspect. Being a good listener will help you to become a better parent, a better employee/employer and become a better friend. Who doesn’t want all that?

Stop What You’re Doing

Whether you’re on the phone or you have guests, stop what you’re doing and just listen to the conversation going on around you. Yes, it’s tempting to load the dishwasher or fold the laundry or pay your bills while you’re on the phone with your mom, but it’s distracting and makes it difficult to listen. Stop what you’re doing and be in the moment so you comprehend the entire conversation.

Be Present

By using inviting body language and words that help speakers know they’re being heard, you can become a better listener. For example, when your kids are talking to you, get down on their level and nod when appropriate, say yes or no when appropriate and really respond when they are finished talking.

Repeat What Was Said

When engaging in any conversation, practice repeating what the speaker just said as a statement or question when you respond. For example, if your daughter is telling you she really wants to get her ears pierced, respond by saying something like, “I understand you really want to get your ears pierced, and….”. When you repeat her words back to her, it helps you really listen and remember what it is she said to you.


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