We all know that listening skills are important. Some of us believe ourselves to BE good listeners. Still, you can find yourself wondering about details that were definitely discussed in a meeting or on the speaking side, you notice a person suddenly drift off somewhere while you are speaking. They probably think they are listening to you.
Being a good listener is a worthy pursuit as is helping people hear you better. So here are some tips but they are not a panacea. Listening involves engagement and simply cannot be put on aut-pilot.
- Don’t formulate a response while someone is speaking.
- Think about what they are saying and interact with it.
- Don’t interrupt (unless the building is on fire).
- Become interested in what they are saying.
On the other side of things, if you want to be sure people are listening.
- Be truly interested and engaged in what you are saying.
- Skip the monologue – interact with people and ask questions.
- Use a lot of air.
- Make eye contact.
- Take extra time on articulation, pacing, and language choice.
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.