To start improving listening skills, here is what you need to do.
The 4 L’s
Listen with Empathy
Listen with Awareness
Listen In Totality
Improving Listening Skills: Total Listening
To be totally engaged in your listening, start total listening
Maintain an attitude of understanding.
Regardless of your emotional state, have your focus on understanding what is being said.
Maintain eye contact when speaking and listening.
Lean slightly forward toward and subtly mirror the person you are listening to.
Give non-verbal feed back, a slight nod of the head, a smile and or a tilt of the head.
Seek clarity by asking questions.
Improving Listening Skills: Active Listening
Listening is not just hearing. There is more involved, a lot more.
Learn how active listening can improve your life.
Three parts of active listening include paraphrasing, clarifying, and feedback.
Improving Your Listening Skills: Listening With Empathy
Empathy is the ability to perceive the intended meaning and share in the feeling of another.
Listening with empathy means perceiving the emotional as well as the verbal content in what is being said.
The positive and negative, the happy and sadness expressed by others is part of who they are. Listen to the words with active listening. But also listen to the words with your heart.
Listening Skills Improvement: Listening With Awareness
Awareness when it comes to listening means to have knowledge or understanding of what is being said or the facts and situation around what is being said.
Awareness also has the connotation of being concerned with or well-informed about a particular development or situation.
When it comes to hearing with awareness, it is essential to listen and compare what is being said in relationship to what you already know about the subject and all the factors involved.
It is equally important to listen for congruency of what is being said with the emotions, body language, voice inflection and tone of voice.
If the congruence is not there, then either you are missing something or the communicator is trying to hide something. Clarify what is being said and look even closer for congruence.