Conversation has changed a lot over the past decade, but there is no substitute for an actual face to face conversation to totally understand the situation at hand. Do you listen to simply respond or do you listen to understand? There is a BIG difference between them.
Listening to respond counts on your being reactionary. There are time when all of us fall prey to this type of listening, but we do not have to be trapped in that unsympathetic style of communicating. We can learn the art of active listening. Read on.
What is active listening and what are some of the exercises that you might use to execute it? Active listening is a technique used in conflict and dispute resolution, as well as, counseling. In active listening the listener actually listens by concentrating fully on what is being said, seeks clarification or understanding, and then responds. This ensures that what the speaker says is being understood completely and there is no misunderstanding. This takes practice.
Without a complete understanding our relationships may suffer and can be strained to the point of breaking. When we truly listen in an active sense we listen to obtain information, to understand, to learn, and to enjoy the person we are conversing with.
Research has found that most listeners only recall about 25% to 50% of what they heard. The reason this is the case is that they merely listen enough to respond and nothing further. Becoming a better listener can improve our productivity on the job, help in negotiating a deal, aid in persuading others to see your point of view, make you more successful, and avoid conflict and misunderstandings.
In order to become proficient at this you should practice listening. Hear not only the words that the person you are speaking to is saying, but also to understand the message. This means not forming your counterListen to Understandarguments while that person is speaking but focusing on their words. One technique is to restate what that person says to ensure that is what they intend to convey. If you heard them correctly they will agree. If not, you can have them restate it and then either understand or ask for more clarification.
Go forth and actively listen. Like everything practice makes you a better communicator and listener. Notice how much better and complete your conversations and relationships are when you actually hear what is being said.