Daniella Whyte

4 Ways to Ensure We Listen Well (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 232)

4 Ways to Ensure We Listen Well

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”
— Bryant H. McGill

Most of our lives, we’re taught to speak well, clearly, and succinctly. But we’re not exactly taught to listen in a similar fashion. From giving a solo oral presentation in high school to participating on the debate team in college, we are well-versed in how to speak.

With such a value placed on good speakers, it is no surprise that most of us neglect to develop into good listeners. The School of Life explains four things people do to ensure good listening in the video below:

1. Good listeners urge people to keep talking.
More than anything, people want to be heard. Like the need to belong, people have an innate need to be heard. Good listeners encourage deep conversation. They urge people to continue speaking. Instead of engaging in small talk only, they aim to look beyond the surface of words to find meaning and understanding.

2. Good listeners aim to avoid confusion.
Clarifying what is being said helps the listener avoid getting wrong impressions and ideas and helps the speaker be clear about what he is trying to communicate. When both parties have a greater understanding of what is being said, they are able to stay focused on the topic at hand.

3. Good listeners show respect for differences and opinions.
It is impossible to agree with every person we communicate with. Good listeners are able to disagree when necessary and criticize when needed. They make it a point to let the other person know that they respect them and their views while at the same time respectfully disagreeing with them.

4. Good listeners transmit trust and vulnerability.
Humans have an incredible ability to show moral interest in the behaviour of other people when it does not have a direct impact upon their own lives. Good listeners don’t do this. They transmit vulnerability and prove they can be trusted with the other person’s deepest thoughts and feelings.

“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”
— Bernard Baruch


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