The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may listen to more and talk the less. –Zeno, Stoic Philosopher
Listening is a virtue very few have been able to master. I am working towards it. I should master it before my death, hopefully.
Listening helps in gathering information to the best: A mentoring session, customer meeting, or team discussion. It helps in understanding the other well. It helps with precise information gathering and not missing out on any aspects.
I have been advised with some techniques in improving my listening skills, sharing it here:
- Listen patiently until the counterpart has finished speaking. Do not interrupt.
- Avoid distractions while the conversation is going on. Snooze your cellphone.
- Don’t make assumptions. Don’t be judgemental or show disapproval either verbally or non-verbally while the other person is speaking.
- Focus on the message transmitted and not the words used.
- Ask open-ended questions. That allows participants to respond in an elaborated manner.
- Take notes of key points.
- Focus your attention in the present, the conversation. Do not compare the part or build castles for the future.