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How Good Are Your Listening Skills?

Posted 854 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles

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The quality of your interpersonal relationships can seriously improve the quality of your life. As well as improving the relationships you have with others, whether that be at home or in work, working on your inter-personal skills can also positively impact the relationship you have with yourself.

Developing the following skills is a great place to start as they will enable you to communicate more effectively:

Listening

Listening should be the easiest thing in the world – after all, for those who are not hearing impaired, there are constant sounds and conversations to process all throughout the day. How many times in a day are you really actively listening though? Actively listening is a focussed awareness and is in fact not as common as you’d think. It takes practice but will lead to an increased sense of engagement for those you communicate with regularly. Focus on what someone is saying to you and tune out any pre-judgements or internal chatter in your mind.

Summarising and Checking

Given that we know we are unlikely to perfectly listen to every conversation we have, it is sensible to check with the other person that you have heard and understood correctly. This also sends a message that you are interested and wanting to understand them. Summarising a conversation back means that you take the overall themes and check whether what you have understood is a fair summary of the key points. Not only does this indicate you have been listening attentively but it also allows the person you are communicating with to refine their overall message if needs be – great collaboration.

Questions

Asking questions can enhance communication by clarifying and obtaining more information. Effective questions should be open ended – so shouldn’t allow for simple yes or no answers. They should also be non-leading and not based on your assumptions. For example, if you are catching up with someone after a week or so has passed, asking them “are you still unhappy?” is leading. By using “still” you are suggesting they should be sad before they have actually told you how they are feeling.

"Mastering Your Communication With NLP" is one of the modules in our online personal development programme – The Personal Success Academy. Join today for only £9.97 a month and take your communication and listening skills to a new level. www.personalsuccessacademy.com

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