We spend a lot of our time interacting with others and this can be both good and bad. The reason it is good is that interaction is the way we express what we feel and what we want others to know. It is bad in the sense that it can be adouble-edged sword and can put is in a tight spot when we do not communicate properly. Most people think that the key to good communication is theway we articulate what we want to say and they are not wrong. However, neither are they completely right. This is because being an attentive listener is one of the key aspects of good communication. It will let you learn how to read what others think and feel.
When you are an attentive listener, you not only gain insights into what the other person wants to say but also flatter the other person because you are being so attentive. It allows you to read more than the words but also their whole body language when you listen attentively. If you want to be loved and appreciated, then learning to be an attentive listener can be an essential step. In fact, you can be the life of a party by learning to be a good conversationalist. There are many key benefits of attentive listening, some of the main ones, which are listed here:
Reduces misunderstanding: When you are an attentive and active listener, there are lesser chances that you misunderstand what the person is saying. You will be able to take in the actual conversation and also be able to read between the lines. Sometimes, the subtle nuances add a lot of context to what the other person is saying and can make all the difference. The more time you spend understanding the speaker, the better your interactions will be. Being a good listener is the first step when you want to learn how to interact with new people comfortably.
Makes the speaker open up more: When you listen to what someone is saying attentively, it makes them feel respected and this can motivate them to be more open. The more empathy you are able to project, the more likely the other person is to open up and say what they really think. The speaker will grasp that you that they are not being judged and be more likely to give you more details.
Defuses conflicting situations: When you spend time attentively listening to what the other person is saying, you will be a better position to defusing conflicting situations. When a person is allowed to express themselves freely, they are less likely to feel angry and more likely to agree to understand what you want to say. Arguments and conflicts can be avoided by listening attentively.
Helps identify agreements and points of dissension: When you listen attentively, you will soon be able to identify the areas in which you are in agreement and those that you are not. You will be better-prepared to come up with solutions for the disagreements You can take the points you disagree on and put across your point of view in a clear and practical manner. When you spend time listening attentively, the other person is more likely to believe that your points are valid and more likely to agree.
Takes into consideration different points of view: A person always feels acknowledged and honored when you listen to them actively and attentively. This will open their mind up, and make it more likely that they are able to accept your point of view. Sometimes, having conversations is as basic as accepting the differences that each person has. You will find that your powers of observation will improve when you listen to people attentively.
Listening attentively is something you have to actively practice to become good at it. Being sincerely interested in what the other person has to say is the foundation of good listening. Here are some points on how to be an attentive listener:
• It helps to have eye contact with the speaker. But don’t overdo it because there is a likelihood that you may end up making the person very conscious.
• Try to duplicate the posture and body language of the speaker but not in a contrived and artificial manner.
• Hold on to an open body language. There are ways in which a person can show that they are interested in what the person is saying by holding onto an open body language. Like sitting in a relaxed manner and nodding once in a while.
• Ask questions once in a while to encourage the speaker to elaborate the point he or she is making. They are more likely to give you clues on their reasoning if you ask them encouraging questions.
• Be sincere in all that you do. Most people are good at judging whether you are being sincere or not. And all the pretense at attentive listening can backfire on you. So, our advise would be to be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying.