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9 Ways to Become a Better Listener

January 11, 2012

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The challenges of a fast-paced world make many people poor listeners. Effective listening plays a critical role in business. The most successful people I know are people with solid listening skills. Improving your ability to listen will help you to earn respect, advance your career and generally improve all of your relationships.Here are 9 ways to become a better listener:

  1. Evaluate your listening skills by paying attention to how you currently interact with others.
  2. Avoid distractions so you can concentrate on what the other person is saying.
  3. Send nonverbal messages through eye contact and body language to indicate that you have heard what is being said. 
  4. Don’t be too quick to judge or offer an opinion even when you agree with the other person.
  5. Practice reflective listening by paraphrasing what the other person has said.
  6. Ask good, open-ended questions to clarify your understanding and to show your interest.
  7. Learn to distinguish when commenting is worth it and when it’s not.
  8. Encourage the other person by exhibiting sincere enthusiasm and respect.
  9. Set aside your ego to focus less on you and more on the other person.   

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