While using the right words and speaking the right way is important, actively listening to people is equally important. Listening to a person helps us get to know the person. If we don’t listen to a person, we will not know how they feel or understand. This will make it difficult for us to convince the other person about the need to practice the healthy behaviours.
When people are talking to us, we may be hearing them, but are we listening to what they are saying? Well, there is a difference between hearing and listening.
When you walk on the street, you hear many sounds like the birds chirping, vehicles passing by, people talking, and sounds from a construction site. Our ears are built to hear. Even if we do not try – we can hear these sounds. But hearing is not listening. Listening requires focus and attention. Listening is simply paying attention to the person in front of you or on the phone.
Practice the following steps and become a more active listener:
Face the speaker and maintain eye contact
Keep an open mind and do not judge the person
Ask open-ended questions that allow the person to speak more
Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying
Do not interrupt and impose solutions
Give the speaker feedback to show that you understand what they are saying
Pay attention to the speaker’s body language. If you feel that the person is disinterested change the topic, if they are in a hurry, observe this and take their leave.
Watch the video below and practice active listening in your conversations with people.