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LETTING GO AND MOVING ON BY JAMES OH

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MINDSET SHIFT: EMPLOYEE TO ENTREPRENEUR

MINDSET SHIFT: EMPLOYEE TO ENTREPRENEUR
BY JAMES OH

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

FIVE KEY WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING SKILLS

Hi! everyone,

Good listening is not only an essential ingredient of effective communication, but it also helps us to stay well connected  with others. Most of us aren't good listeners; however, listening is a skill that everyone can master,  if we choose to do so. You may find some of the tips below useful:-

1. Make it your mission to understand
To achieve anything successfully, you need to have a mission. Similarly in the mastery of the listening skill, a mission is required. We must always seek first to understand the speaker, what he intends to tell you, what is his intention. To be  a good listener, you have to listen attentively after you have acknowledged what he had said.

2. Acknowledge everything the speaker says
Acknowledging everything that the speaker says is totally in contrast to ignoring or disregarding the speaker. You need to respond positively by validating what he says. This will encourage him to tell you more since you show interest in listening to his story. You may acknowledge him through verbal and non-verbal response such as nodding your head, maintaining eye contact or other expression you deem fit. Counter response is important as it shows two ways of communication instead of one way.  To be effective, you must respond similarly to the speaker's action. If he whispers to you, whisper back to him. Flow with him is the answer.

3. Avoid interrupting.
I hate to say this - You cannot do both talking and listening simultaneously. You may do it directly or indirectly. Indirect way happens when you assume what the speakers are going to say before they say it, you  not only annoy them, but you will also miss the real message. Ask questions if you have doubts and try to see the other person's point-of-view. If you are unsure of the meaning ask for clarification and then if you are still not sure repeat it back to them, for instance, "So, what are you saying is, you don't like this article because this topic is not your cup of tea and it has nothing to do with its author, is that correct?"

4. Agree with everything you are told
Please don't get me wrong to mean that you have to agree exactly what they say. For the above example, you know the reason why he dislike this article. It is nothing wrong for you to agree with him if this article is also not your cup of tea. You are looking from his perspective, and not your perspective. Do you see the difference? Here, you are agreeing with the reason he told you. Can you see how the art of true listening operates.

5. Be patient
Especially when you don't understand what they say. Never get upset because it won't solve any issues but will only create more. Ask politely after the speaker has finished speaking what they wanted to say.

I trust the above is helpful to you. Please feel free to add in any other tips which you think is helpful. Thank you in advance for your kind participation. By now, you may able to see that to live happily, you need to stay well connected with others. Therefore, good listening skill is crucial in establishing good relationship.

James Oh
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