Communication requires two things, talking and listening. A key component of many jobs is being able to speak eloquently and get your point across to a team or a client. Speaking eloquently means that you are clear and concise and the people you are speaking to are engaged and fully comprehend what you are saying. This requires active listening; making sure that you are aware of body cues so you know the audience is engaged.
The flip side of being a good speaker is being able to listen as well. You’ve delivered your spiel and now it is time to receive feedback. Michelle Crawley a marketer who wrote for Forbes BrandVoices highlights 10 ways to be a better listener. Here’s what you should know:
- Stop talking. If you want to hear what someone has to say, you have to be silent.
- Block out the distractions and really concentrate on what the other person is telling you. Don’t let your mind wander.
- Fine-tune your senses. You can glean a lot of information from tone, delivery, body language and surroundings.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Really hear what the person is saying, instead of thinking ahead about how you are going to respond or about how you’ve had a similar experience. It’s not about you.
- Instead of taking notes, just listen–carefully.
- Repeat back some of the points you are hearing to verify and clarify.
- Ask open-ended questions because these elicit a more descriptive response.
- Give cues–both visual and auditory–that you are following what the other person is saying.
- Don’t be afraid to follow up when necessary.
Read more at Forbes