L is for LISTEN
Effective communication forms the basis of our relationships in life, be it personal or professional. For communication to be relevant and useful, it is essential that we pay as much attention to how the communication is received as we pay to what is being communicated and how it is being communicated. The sender and receiver have an equal role to play in ensuring smooth and effective communication to happen. LISTENING is what needs to be focused more in a communication as it gives an opportunity to understand the message more clearly before responding. Whether it is about connecting and working together with our colleagues or with our family and friends, LISTENING will ensure that relationships grow stronger.
Why is LISTENING important ?
· Prevents miscommunication and misunderstanding
· Holds the key for building stronger relationships and inter-personal skills
· A mandatory skills for professionals working as counsellors or coaches
· Builds patience and develops the ability to pay attention
· Helps us understand the message in a holistic manner, much beyond the word spoken. Provides us with an insight into the context and emotions behind the message as well. Helps us with a deeper understanding of the content/ message
· Plays an important role in conflict resolution situations
· Puts us at an advantage while participating in various meetings as it helps us absorb the key points of other speakers and accordingly build up our response.
· We tend to spend maximum time listening while at workplace
How to build EFFECTIVE LISTENING skills ?
· Practice mindfulness as it will help build acceptance of others
· Practice Active Listening which will help gather the exact meaning and the intent of the message. This involves displaying empathy while listening, paraphrasing for better understanding, observing the other non-verbal/ body cues in the speaker to establish its connection with the message
· Practice whole body listening as it will put us in a relaxed state while listening
· Applying some basic techniques like being interested in the speaker, not interrupting the speaker, asking probing questions when needed and most importantly thinking/ reflecting before responding
So, be and ACTIVE LISTENER and be a LEADER in life !