A to Z of Soft Skills: L for Listening Skills

Listening.png

A to Z of Soft Skills: L for Listening skills

Listening seems to be a pretty simple skill. Yet, I chose to talk about it during this challenge. There’s a sea change in our communication patterns since  2014 when I first wrote a 2 part series on listening on this blog. The skill has attained even more importance today. We live in a distracted world where our attention spans are shorter than that of a goldfish. We are glued to our phones all the time. The facelessness on social media gives us the liberty to talk at will and constantly. Listening patiently is a skill as conspicuously missing as acting talent in some leading ladies in films.

For today’s post, I am going to give only one tip! (The rest of the wonderful tips are covered in the old posts that I am going to share right here!)

1. Be patient: This is the most important thing to be able to really listen. We are in a hurry to jump the gun and make ourselves heard, especially on social media. Even in real life, we listen to respond rather than to understand perspectives. We are already thinking of what we’d say and counter what’s being told. There are too many internal barriers to effective listening with our phones vying for our attention constantly. We need to practice some quiet time and calm our inner voice to develop patience. This might sound like a Zen like state to develop but it isn’t. The noise in our heads gets ahead of us usually. It needs to rest once in a while so that we listen to what people are telling us.

I highly recommend that you watch this video by Julian Treasure, a world renowned sound and communication expert, from TEDGlobal 2011. He talks about how we are losing our listening and shares some fantastic tips to regain the ability.

Video: 5 ways to listen better

You can read more tips to improve listening in this post: Why are listening skills important? A preview:

Maintain eye contact

Switch off judgment

Summarise

There are more tips in the post: How to use effective listening skills in real life. Preview:

The post talks about barriers to listening at length. And then talks about different situations like group discussions, talking to customers and listening in the corporate world and how you can hone your listening skills for each.

This post is a part of A to Z blogging challenge where I am going to write about 26 soft skills in 26 days and give tips on how to improve on them. If you like these posts, do share them and tell your friends about it.

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