5 Habits of Great Listeners
Learn these habits to improve your social skill and strengthen your relationship
Listening is an important skill to form a deep connection with others, it requires you to put aside your ego to be more focused on others.
Being a great listener will not only benefit you in your personal life but also in your professional life. You will become good at absorbing information from your boss or client that will build a deep bond with them.
The art of good listening is essential especially if you are a leader. Studies show a manager who is a good listener will be perceived as a people leader, generate more trust and increase their team’s creativity. The skill of a good listener will help your organization and employee to perform at their peak.
However, the truth is we like to talk more than to listen and make conversation looks like a competition to seek out who the winner or the loser. We think by monopolizing the conversation will help us becoming good conversationalists. The truth is making conversation all about you is not a sign of a great listener, but it’s the sign of a narcissist.
Here are five habits to make you become a great listener, so you can improve your social skill and strengthen your relationship.
1. They Listen With Intent to Understand, Not to Respond
A great listener gets rid of the urge to speak while someone talking. They seek to understand first before they want to be understood. They open their ear and shut off their mouth. They know once people feel heard and understood, it creates meaningful relationships with them.
The art of listening with the intent to understand will remove the temptation of what you are going to say when another person’s talking. You will take time to process the information that the speaker said and ask something if you miss out on any point. You focus more on them rather than yourself.
The art of good listening will benefit someone who is in a vulnerable stage. By focusing on listening to them without trying to fix or give advice, you let them express their feelings in their own time.
Sometimes what people need is not the best solution, but what they need the most is someone who can listen without any judgment.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
2. They Show Genuinely Interested
How do you feel when you meet someone who shows genuine interest in your life? Yes, it makes you feel good about yourself and look forward to spend more time with them in another chance.
A great listener will redirect the conversation to focus on the speaker, not themselves. They show genuine interest in someone’s story by asking questions to fulfill their curiosity.
When you show genuine interest, you will make the conversation to be more fun and alive. You will be more likely to learn about others’ different points of view rather than to judge. You make them feel important because you are interested to know about their journey.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
3. They Don’t Interrupt It
It’s so annoying when someone cut you off while you speaking. They don’t let you finish your sentence because they assume they know what you are going to say. They make two mistakes, first, they interrupt you, and second, their assumption is wrong.
Instead, a great listener will let you finish your sentence and make sure they understand your point. They hold their tendency to speak because they know that they will get clarity at the end of the story. They let the speaker finish and repeat what has been said to make sure that they are on the same page.
If you want to be respected by others, make sure you don’t interrupt until their finish talking. Once you respect others then they will respect you back in return.
“There can’t be greater rudeness than to interrupt another in the current of his discourse.”
4. They Ask Great Questions
One of the traits of a great listener is they keep the conversation alive. They make conversation more in tune by letting their curiosity lead the topic. They engage more deeply by asking a question that pushes someone out of their comfort zone. They don’t wait to be asked, but they have the initiative to ask first to spark the conversation flow authentically.
Remember that the quality of your question depends on how good you are at listening and understanding the context of the story.
If you want to have a meaningful conversation, start to ask beyond a yes or no question. Concentrate on follow-up questions by using “why” to ask a question like “why do you choose this?” “why do you think that”, this question will bring you to know more deeply about the meaning beneath the surface.
The art of asking questions is a skill that needs practice to master. The more actively you listen, the more easily you come up with a thoughtful question.
Take a moment to reflect on what has been said, so you can ask more structured and relevant questions.
“The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.”
5. They Give Full Attention
A great listener will give full attention to the speaker during a conversation. They don’t easily get distracted by their thought of thinking the future or the past, they focus on engaging in a conversation in the present moment.
A great listener avoids distraction by putting their phone away to make sure they give full attention and energy to the speakers. They listen attentively as if it’s the last conversation they had with someone in front of them.
They know if they give undivided attention in conversation, they will understand better and have a deep connection with others.
If it’s hard for you to maintain your attention during a conversation, take a moment to pause and breathe to help you redirect your attention to get back on the speaker again.
“The greatest gift you can give anyone is your undivided attention…”