We Should Listen More to Other People

communication personal growth Jun 14, 2022

There are many benefits to listening. When we listen, we learn. We learn about the person we're listening to and know about the world around us. Listening also allows us to build better relationships with the people in our lives. It can help us resolve conflicts and make us more understanding and compassionate. This blog post will discuss some of the reasons why listening is so essential, and we will offer some tips on how you can become a better listener.

Your listening skills matter

What do you find yourself doing during a conversation more, listening or speaking? Both are essential to keeping a conversation going, and striking a balance between them is vital. Do all the talking, and you may not get an insight or input from others and cause others to view you differently. On the other hand, listening all the time without giving your opinion or idea might make the speaker think you are not interested in the conversation. Knowing how to properly listen and speak without going overboard on any of them will help you become a better individual.

In today's world, there seems to be more talking done than listening. People post and say many kinds of stuff and information online, and they are also swift to react and judge what others post without sufficient understanding of what they talk about online. Some people like to talk often during conversations, but people don't pay attention because they are too distracted as they give more focus to their electronic devices than to the speaker. So it pays to listen well and can provide several benefits if done correctly.

1. Listening shows respect and empathy

How will you feel if you are talking with someone or in front of others and notice that they are not paying attention to you? You will probably feel annoyed. On the other hand, taking a moment to listen when somebody is talking is respectful. It shows that you have an interest in what they are saying and care about them as a person. Not listening to somebody when they are speaking, especially if they are talking to you, is akin to dismissing them and not giving care to their opinion.

2. Learning to listen gives you time to think

When you keep on talking during a conversation, you may eventually run out of ideas or even cause you to utter something that may sound wrong to somebody. Taking the time to listen gives you time to think properly about what you will say next, thus lessening the chances that you may say something insensitive or terrible to another person. Also, listening to others when it's their turn to speak can give you an idea of what other topics can expand the conversation and answer them correctly when they ask you a question.

3. You get to understand others and learn something new

When you actively listen to others when they speak, you get a glimpse of their personalities and help you know them better. How fast or slow others talk, the emotions that they have while having their speech, the body language that they show, and how assertive or reserved they are while speaking are things you will notice if you listen well. You'll get to know people better and help build relationships with others. Also, by being a good listener, you can get an idea of the beliefs and opinions of others, giving you a different perspective on things. You may even learn a new life skill or technique from what they say to you and gain new friends.

4. Listening can keep the momentum going

Have you ever experienced a time when you are talking with someone and suddenly a moment of silence occurs, and both of you don't know what to say? The conversation comes to a standstill, and it can be an awkward moment. The reason could be because one person is not listening enough, so they don't know what the other is saying and hence don't know how to respond once the other party asks them something. So when people speak, it's an excellent idea to listen to what they say as you could get some interesting talking points from what they say, which could extend the conversation and cover other topics of interest. You also won't appear disrespectful if you can adequately reply to whatever question the other person asks, showing you are paying attention to them.

5. You'll gain the attention and respect of others once you speak

You may have encountered that one person in the group who doesn't talk often, but once they do, all eyes are on them as they spout ideas and ask relevant questions based on the discussion and opinions given by everybody else. It's because they hear out everybody else before they share their opinion and listen intently to the discussion instead of interrupting others or talking immediately without hearing the big picture first. A person who listens more can get the respect and attention of others because others will get the idea that once they open their mouth, they will say something significant or tell a brand new idea if they know that the person listens well.

How to properly listen to others

Just because you look the other person in the eye when they are talking to you doesn't mean you are properly listening to them. Your mind may be wandering in a different world, or you easily get distracted when a notification rings from your phone. As such, one should engage in active listening if one genuinely wants to communicate with others better, and there are some ways to do it.

Use appropriate body language. When somebody is talking to you, look in the eye of the other person. Avoid fidgeting or making unnecessary body gestures. Don't slouch if you are sitting, and occasionally nod when something agreeable or exciting is said.

Minimize distractions. If possible, silence your smartphone when talking with somebody. Getting distracted and responding to notifications will make you look rude. Unless you are waiting for an important call, excuse yourself if somebody calls on your phone.

Don't cut in while another person is speaking. Instead, while somebody is talking, wait until they finish saying their lines before speaking. It helps to gain a complete understanding of somebody's thoughts before passing our judgments. We can create a better response and don't jump to conclusions if people listen first before saying their opinions.

Cast away your judgments. Unless the situation calls for it, try not to pass judgment on what others say, especially if it goes against your belief. If they ask for your opinion, then you can go ahead and say it. Otherwise, focus on the essential parts of the discussion.

Don't be afraid to ask for clarifications. For example, if something is not clear, you can kindly interrupt the speaker and ask for clarifications. It is also a sign that you are listening to the speaker if you ask to clarify something they are talking about in the conversation.

Be in the present moment. For example, if you want to listen well to another person, you must stay connected and present in the moment. That means there shouldn't be distractions present as much as possible so you can pay attention to the words uttered by another person. Don't let your mind wander about anything; focus on the communication between you and the speaker.

Listening well is an essential skill that is equally important as speaking to others. It helps you better understand what others say, and you can learn something from them. Listening more also helps lessen unnecessary noise when others are speaking too much. It is a skill we can try practicing more, and we can appreciate it when the time comes for us to speak and others listen to us well.

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