Active Listening– Key to become a powerful communicator

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen.  Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.

                                                                                                            Rachel Naomi Remen

Good communication skills require a high level of listening skill. For the participation in any kind of communication ,listening is the foundation and the foremost thing.By understanding one’s personal style of communicating, you will go a long way towards creating good and lasting impressions with others.

Listening is the active process of receiving and responding to spoken (and sometimes  un-spoken)messages. This process can be broken into five distinct stages:

 Participation of Listening in Communication process

As per various researches it has been defined that generally adults spend an average of 70% of their time engaged in some sort of communication, of this an average of 45% is spent listening compared to 30% speaking, 16% reading and 9% writing.

                                                                                                 (Adler, R. et al. 2001).

  Motive of Listening

We listen to obtain information.

We listen to understand.

We listen for enjoyment.

We listen to learn.

Why Listening(Active) is Not the Same as Hearing?

Many times people are not able to differentiate between listening and hearing, however Hearing only refers to the sounds that you hear, whereas listening requires more than that: it requires focus.  Active listening means paying attention not only to the story, but how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body.  In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages.  Your ability to listen effectively depends on the degree to which you perceive and understand these messages.Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. Active listing is a particular communication technique that requires the listener to provide feedback on what he or she hears to the speaker.

Listening is key to all effective communication, without the ability to listen effectively   messages are easily misunderstood – communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily be frustrated or irritated.

If there is one communication skill one should aim to first master then it should be active listening.

Now one question comes to our mind that how to become an active listener?By following these simple tips one can improve his/ her listening skill and gradually will become a good communicator.

Pay Attention and stop Talking: During the listening don’t talk

Prepare Yourself to Listen: While listening be calm and relax

Put the Speaker at Ease: Help the speaker to feel free to speak

Remove Distractions: Focus on what is being said

Empathies: Try to understand the other person’s point of view

Be Patient: While listening do not show hurry ,A pause, even a long pause, does not necessarily mean that the speaker has finished

Avoid Personal Prejudice: Try to be impartial

Listen to the Tone: Volume and tone both add to what someone is saying

Listen for Ideas – Not Just Words: You need to get the whole picture, not just isolated bits and pieces

Wait and Watch  for Non-Verbal Communication:Gestures, facial expressions, and eye-movements can all be important to understand a message.





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