In a previous blog, we spoke of the barriers that exist when you are listening to another person. We know that listening is a key skill that great communicators have mastered, so it’s good to address the issues that occur in listening, and see what we can do about them.
One area that most people see as a promoter of good listening is the act of acknowledging the speaker’s words. By acknowledgment, I’m talking about giving the speaker time and focus. You show interest in what they are saying so that you can understand their point of view.
It doesn’t mean you necessarily agree with them. It simply means you acknowledge their viewpoint and you understand why they think, feel or act the way they do.
What are the most important things you like to see in another person when they are listening to you?
When we ask that question on courses, delegates often say things like:
“They ask me questions relating to the things I’ve said”
“They give good eye contact”
“They nod and give positive gestures at the appropriate time”
“They give me adequate time to finish what I’m saying without interrupting me”
“If on the phone, I hear them saying things like ‘a-ha’, ‘I see’, ‘go on’, and things like that”
All these are good signs that the other person is acknowledging you while listening.
Now if that’s what you want from others, you can guarantee it’s what they want from you.
So, give positive feedback to the other person by being interested in what they are saying, why they are saying it and offer acknowledgment so they know you have actively listened. Being listened to improves your self-worth and self-esteem; offer that gift to another person and just watch the respect they have for you soar!
Originally published: 22 September, 2010
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