Have you ever talked to someone, and when you ask them a question, they not respond? Maybe they did answer, but they didn’t answer the question. They might have said something completely irrelevant to your question. Maybe they did answer your question, but not in the way you wanted the question to be understood. Have you ever done any of that to anyone else?
All of those are poor listening habits. If the other person, or you, had truly been listening, the question would have been answered in a satisfactorily way. There are many poor listening habits, and most come from not paying attention.
Some people don’t even seem to be listening, others seem to, at first. Some only seem to hear some of what you’re saying. However, how could it be improved, how could you be a better listener?
First of all, think of the other’s speech as more important than your own thoughts. Don’t challenge what they’re saying, just listen. Conversations are not competitions.
Second, don’t interrupt. When you interrupt, you don’t hear all of what is being said, and it makes the other far less likely to listen to you.
Third, remember, that while you might like to talk, they like to talk too. If you’re talking, you can’t listen, so don’t hog the conversation.
Forth, remember that words are only a small part of speech. Pay attention to posture, gestures, tone of voice, and facial expression. They could say one thing and mean quite another, so listen with your eyes as well as your ears.
Fifth, listen to everything the other says. Only partially listening is not listening.
Sixth, try not to “zone out” even when the other is getting boring. They might be exhibiting their bad listening habits, but you don’t have to add yours to the show.
These are a few ways to improve your listening, and there are many more. So, thanks for listening!