Womenlines takes pleasure to share about guest contributor Vijayalakshmi Veluchamy, founder, Public speaking mentor @ Jump Out Kids – a venture in building a confident next generation. She is also a Senior Recruitment Consultant by profession. This month Vijaya is sharing a very insightful article on the importance of listening skills-
There is a huge difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a physical ability to perceive sound whereas listening is a skill, it’s a conscious effort by the brain to understand and make sense of what the other person is saying.
Most of the time the standard way of listening is to reply rather than to understand. Which means, instead of listening to what the other person is saying we start thinking of what we need to reply. Effective Listening is becoming a difficult task these days due to information overload and shortened attention span.
So let’s see how effective listening can be done?
- The first step in effective listening would be to stop thinking of what you need to reply and actually listen to the person.
- Keep an open mind, do not judge the person or jump to conclusions while you are listening.
- Do not interrupt while they speak, wait for them to finish before you add on. Sometimes listening long enough, helps clear your doubts.
- Ask questions only to ensure understanding, if your questions have made the speaker astray, take responsibility to make them feel comfortable and help them get back to the track.
- Throughout the interaction try to maintain eye contact, nod, smile, give verbal cues and affirmations wherever needed assuring that you are with them.
- A short summarizing at the end assures them that their views have been well heard and understood.
- Once this is done, you can now put forth your ideas, suggestions and the points where you differ, setting the stage for a healthy discussion.
Effective listening might seem like a lot of effort but remember that listening is a skill and it takes time, effort, patience and practice to master it.
Let’s understand the Benefits of Listening Effectively:
Builds Trust, confidence and strong relationships:
Sometimes all a person needs is someone to listen to them without judging or giving any kind of suggestions or advice. Just being there actively listening ensures that the person is important and what they say matters. This helps build a trustable relationship, be it a parent-child or peer to peer or any workspace relationship.
Better Productivity and understanding:
Good listeners are able to better follow instructions, inputs and information given to them. This helps them to clearly understand what is expected from them, ask better questions to get clarity, provide valuable feedbacks and addons where needed. So be it classroom or workspace they deliver the desired results on time or even faster!
A Good Listener is a Good Leader, a Good Communicator:
A good listener is able to see the world from the eyes of others. Instead of repeating what you know, listening helps you to learn what you may not know.
It helps you understand different kinds of people, their opinions and point of views. This eventually helps you lead people of different personalities to work towards a common goal. Communication is effective only when you actively listen to people first and then put forth your points.
No one is born knowing how to read or write similarly listening is a skill and can be learnt. By slowing down your thoughts and being present at the moment you will be amazed to see how much you actually listen and remember.
Founder, Public speaking mentor @ Jump Out Kids – a venture in building a confident next generation. I am also a Senior Recruitment Consultant by profession. I love following my dreams and passion as I strongly believe if you can dream it, you can do it.
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