Learn how to revolutionize your life by being a good listener! Discover powerful tips for building more meaningful relationships.
What we’ll see in this article
What does it mean to be a good listener?
A good listener is the act of not only listening to what the other person is saying, but also understanding what they are trying to say.
You don’t have to put your point of view forward to listen, you just have to try to understand the feelings and emotions of the person expressing the words and empathize at that moment.
A good listener: Meaning
Although listening has the exact meaning of hearing, the term “good listener” refers not only to listening, but also to understanding what is being said.
It is therefore essential that you know the difference between the meaning of the word “listen” and the term “good listener”.
3 Tips for listening well
Most of the time, our understanding of good listening comes down to etiquette or good manners, doesn’t it? We generally understand it this way.
Before we go any deeper, let’s take a look at these 3 tips for listening well. You just have to understand that this is just the beginning of what it means to be a good listener.
Interrupting a conversation or when someone is talking is not just a breach of etiquette, but a breach of the thought that the other person is trying to express, can you understand that?
Interruptions are sometimes necessary and for reasons of force majeure, but try to avoid them.
Not talking to other people
When we interrupt someone else with our speech, what was being expressed ends up being undone in a way.
Of course, a small hand signal can help the speaker understand that the other person also wants to raise a question or even a doubt about what is being said.
Let your body and face show that you are taking part in the conversation.
Focus on what is being said and allow the other person to understand, through your expressions, whether what is being said raises doubts, disagreements or other feelings that are relevant to this conversation.
Be willing to listen
Being willing to listen and learn from others is the basic point of successful leadership.
Be willing to listen
The willingness to listen, in the sense of understanding and listening to other people, is fundamental to the growth of human beings themselves, who have only been able to develop from other animals because of this communication.
We can therefore understand that it was the fact that we could not only express our ideas, but also understand others, that brought great and accelerated development to the human race.
This is why you should continue to enjoy great and accelerated personal growth.
You will only grow as an individual and as a leader if you also learn to be a good listener.
Be present in the conversation
To be a good listener, you need to be in the conversation. This doesn’t mean that you’re talking too, but that your focus is on what the other person is saying, can you understand that?
Being totally focused on the other person, their words and expressions is being present in the conversation. Pay attention…
Don’t let your mind fly
Of course, it’s very common for the other person to speak and for our minds to travel to a beach, to our routine tasks, to the meeting later on and even to what a family member is doing at the moment.
If we allow ourselves to, our minds travel too far, and this makes us miss the value that the other person has to offer with their speech.
It’s not easy to stay focused
It’s not always easy to have this focus, but when it becomes commonplace in our lives, we need to make a radical change, otherwise we’ll become isolated from other people.
What’s more, we’ll also stop learning from others, and we’ll always remain with the same life, without progressing, developing or prospering.
That’s right, only good listeners can make progress in life, because they are always trying to learn.
Being a good listener is much more than remaining silent while the other person talks
On the other hand, being a good listener isn’t just about keeping quiet. Sometimes silence is even misinterpreted by the other person.
Silence can show a lack of understanding
Silence in itself can give the impression that we don’t understand anything that is being said at the time.
Small words like “I understand”, “yes” and others will help to show whether or not there is understanding, as will small facial expressions.
Silence can show disinterest
Passing on the message of disinterest in the other person’s speech is very bad, even when that’s not what we want.
Show your expressions, your forward leaning posture and keep your eyes on your interlocutor.
Silence can show haste
Speaking of your gaze, when you look away to other places in the conversation, it clearly shows your disinterest, especially if your gaze focuses on your cell phone, other people or even the ceiling.
Silence can send the message that we agree with everything
That’s right. We don’t always agree with the tone of the conversation and, in this case, we should also be able to express our point, after all, a conversation only exists with at least two people.
One of the things we should learn most is that if someone says what they think, I can say what I think too. Obviously with education and respect…
However, we can show our disagreement by raising one of our hands to signal that we also want to speak.
If that doesn’t work, show it through facial expressions and, if you still have to interrupt the other person, say clearly that you don’t agree and ask for your turn to speak.
What’s the difference between listening and hearing?
There’s a difference between listening and hearing, did you know that? In fact, there are several differences between these two terms, which are often used synonymously.
What is listening?
Listening is the act of perceiving some kind of sound.
Understanding or perceiving sounds through the sense of hearing: listening to music.Dictionary
We can understand that listening is really the act of perceiving a sound, whether it’s comprehensible to your mind or not.
However, the term “good listener” means that we are attentively listening and understanding the sound emitted, but more than that, that we are people who want to learn from others and are also attentive to those who speak to us.
What is listening?
Listening is the act of paying attention and trying to understand what is being said.
To pay attention to something or someone; to be attentive: he heard all their complaints.Dictionary
We can say that listening is the care we take to sincerely understand what the other person is saying.
Examples of listening
For example, a good leader listens to the voice of his or her subordinates.
A mother listens to her children’s pain, and so attends to their needs, understanding deeply what is being said by the other.
What does it take to be a good listener?
To be a good listener you need to be open-minded, something we’ll talk about later. You also need to understand the other person’s culture, background and education, did you know that?
Well, what if we don’t know anything about it and we don’t have this information, what should we do to be a good listener? In these cases, too, it’s not difficult – in fact, in all cases, everything can be solved with one simple word: empathy!
To be a good listener, you need empathy
Empathy, which is valuing the other person as much as you want them to value you, is essential for your leadership.
Have acceptance for the other person even if you don’t have acceptance for their ideas. Take a real interest in the other person and try to have affinity, even if you don’t agree with what they say.
Look for points that unite you, not those that separate you from good friendship and conviction.
Tips for being a good listener
Let’s look at some practical tips for being a good listener.
Focus on the subject
Whenever you talk, focus entirely on the subject. Don’t interrupt to make comparisons or use jokes or metaphors for what is being said. Talk only about that point, not about the whole subject. Focus!
Look in the right direction
Always try to look at the person, their gestures, intonations and facial expressions. Don’t divert your attention to the ceiling or the floor. These observations help us to understand not only what is said, but the meaning of what is said.
Use facial expressions
Try to use facial expressions about what you understand and what you don’t understand about the other person’s speech. By using your facial expressions, the person you’re talking to will be able to tell if you’re communicating what you want. It’s a simple but fantastic strategy!
Repeat what has already been said
Use your interlocutor’s own words to make your point or as a question. This will generate a great rapport between the two of you in the conversation. Everything tends to be more accepted.
Ask questions and let them continue
If it’s really necessary to interrupt a conversation(really necessary), ask a brief question and allow the other person to continue. Just one question at a time and not several in a row, as this completely changes the focus of the conversation.
Don’t think about what to say before the other person has finished
As you listen, don’t keep rehearsing an answer. Not only will this take your focus away, but you’ll even miss explanations that could have been given without you realizing it.
Don’t be combative or critical
Don’t fight, don’t criticize, don’t be reactive. Listen carefully and always with a view to welcoming the other person. Sometimes, even in conflict situations, a hug or affection is more helpful than a thousand speeches.
Be polite when interrupting
If you have to interrupt the conversation, do so with care for the other person. At times, the interruption can read badly and negatively.
Of course, interruptions can be due to force majeure, such as having to go home or finish work, among other situations.
In any case, say that what you’ve heard so far has been important and make another appointment to continue the conversation on the agreed day and time.
If it’s a simple interruption or a question, raise your hand and ask to be excused.
Why is it good to be a good listener?
Being a good listener will revolutionize your life!
Having this talent will make your leadership highly respected and you will always be an excellent reference on a wide variety of subjects.
What’s more, you’ll be able to learn a lot more from other people and they’ll surround you with care and affection, believe me.
Everything becomes different when we learn to be good listeners, not least because we will change and improve from the inside out, and this is noticed by everyone.
Your own emotional intelligence will develop further, as your observations and insights into other people’s lives will be truly fantastic.
Being a good listener: characteristics
We often see certain characteristics in those who become good listeners, and this also changes their lives completely:
- Stop being anxious and learn from the silence.
- You learn different points of view that you didn’t see before.
- They have greater emotional intelligence.
- He knows how to speak at the right times.
- You are more assertive and wiser when you speak.
Keep an open mind
To learn to be a good listener, it’s important to keep an open mind. Whatever the subject.
Being open-minded does not mean that we agree with everything that is being said, but that we are willing to understand what the other person wants to communicate.
That’s why it’s important not to criticize, but to always take care of the other person’s heart as well as your own.
Remember, the most important thing is not what you disagree on, but being together on what you agree on.
Examples of questions in a conversation
We’ll show you some great questions to ask in a conversation with good listeners:
- How does it get to you?
- How do you feel about this?
- Why does this bother your heart?
- How this subject relates to [“another subject”]
- Why do you think this subject is relevant?
- What are you going to do with this information?
- What do you intend to do with what you’re saying?
- How do you plan to resolve this issue?
Being a good listener isn’t about trying to come up with solutions
By being a good listener, we don’t have the obligation to provide solutions, but to help build them with the other person, can you understand that?
So don’t just throw a bunch of ideas into the conversation like you’re pouring beans into a pot (do you like that comparison?), but make sure they’re built up together, without rushing and without speeding up the process of the conversation.
Depending on the subject, we end up running over the words and even the feeling that is being expressed in the conversation, which is why patience and calmness in conversations is essential.
Being a good listener is not being a sponge for absorption
On the other hand, being a good listener doesn’t mean that you have to be a sponge for absorbing and carrying the most diverse situations on your shoulder, can you see it that way?
Think of the situation of a religious priest who hears the most diverse subjects and secrets from the people in his community. Imagine if all this was on his back and he saw himself as the culprit or responsible for the solutions?
To be a good listener is not to carry the weight of the world on your back, but to be the participant in an empathetic conversation.
In many cases, the conversation is just a conversation, nothing more. However, some people receive it as such a strong impact that they tend to want to make decisions about it…
Don’t be one of these people, take care of your mind and your heart, as well as those close to you.
Don’t let the stress of conversations bring the same stress to you, do you?
Don’t judge during the conversation
As well as not criticizing in the conversation, in a way that closes the filter on the conversation, try not to judge the person who is speaking, as this will bring words that will close the subject without it having been concluded.
The role of host is fundamental to a good conversation.
Empathy, which is also putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, is essential in conversations. Always remember to be willing to listen and help whenever necessary.
Judging doesn’t change a person, loving and walking together towards the right thing does…
Wow, it’s great to have you here by the end of this article. We know it was a long conversation, but very fruitful, after all, that’s why we’re here walking with you, isn’t it?
That’s why we’d love to hear your comments below. We’d be delighted to read what you have to say and share with us.
Test: are you a good listener?
Take the opportunity to test whether you’re a good listener or not! Free, no registration or anything else required. Just start the test below and get the results.
PS. This is just a simple test, not intended to define you professionally, nor will it be used for a health report. For this, you should seek a professional such as a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or other professionals legally able to help you.