Communication has always played a key role in our lives. It helps us develop, express our points of view, find new opportunities, cognize the surroundings and the essence of human nature. You’ll never reach harmony with the world and people around, until you develop good communication skills, because you’re a part of society.
I believe that every human being can master the art of communication, no matter what social position they have. But what does it mean to have good communication skills? People with excellent communication and listening skills should show empathy for others, keep eye contact, treat others with respect and focus on what the interlocutor is saying. All these qualities of a good listener and communicator will help you build successful relationships, earn the respect of others and prepossess people.
Those who do more listening than talking and catch the meaning of the conversation at once, are worth their weight in gold. If everyone did their best to care, listen, communicate and support, then this world would be much better. Just look around and you’ll see thousands of both lonely and, at first glance, happy people who want to be heard and understood. Read on and you’ll realize that good listening skills and various psychological tricks can work miracles and improve interpersonal relationships.
1. Listen empathetically
No matter how you slice it, but we live in a harsh and indifferent world where everyone tends to stay away from negativity. Sure, it’s good for your health and emotional well-being, but you’ll never build successful relationships and make friends, if you don’t help and support other people.
If you want to become a good listener and gain confidence and respect, learn how to listen with empathy. Have you ever heard something about empathetic listening? This kind of listening is an ability to communicate with understanding, empathy and see the sorrow in the eyes of the interlocutor even when they hide their genuine feelings.
Just do it sincerely, for the interlocutor to believe that your empathy isn’t fake. Otherwise, the person who’s unburdened their heart can get easily offended. Try to put yourself in their place and you’ll have a chance to understand their feelings and emotions. Such a gesture will significantly increase the speaker’s confidence and self-esteem.
2. Stay tight-lipped
If people confide their secrets to you, it means that they wholeheartedly trust you and rely on your help. In my opinion, people who keep someone’s secrets have no moral right to divulge them. If you want to prepossess people, you should have a perfect reputation. You should keep in mind that too loose-tongued personalities usually have bad reputation, because no one respects the ones who can’t imagine their lives without wagging their tongues and spreading gossips.
Besides preserving secrecy and keeping your lips sealed, it’s desirable to exchange secrets with the interlocutor you fully trust and respect. This will increase the level of confidence and trust in your interpersonal relationship. You’ll get on the right side of the person you want in the twinkling of an eye.
3. Speak less, listen more
While chatting, prioritize listening. When one of your friends calls you up and initiates a conversation, it means that they want to share their issues with you and receive a valuable advice instead of absorbing your portion of problems and negativity.
Your task is to focus on the interlocutor and listen carefully to everything they say. Pay attention to their words, gestures, emotions and eyes. By all means, don’t interrupt, but give the interlocutor an opportunity to speak their mind. This way, you’ll have time and chance to process and analyze what they’re talking about. When the interlocutor is making pauses, you can answer and present your point of view. Don’t believe the ones who say that silence or listening is the choice of incompetent and weak people. It’s a sign of strength, wisdom, intellect and self-control.
4. Get rid of anxiety and inner tension
It’s not necessary to be an inborn leader or powerful political figure to win social respect. The main thing is to be emotionally strong and maintain a sense of inner balance. If you’re good at suppressing negative emotions and behave as if everything is chronically okay, you’ll reach many goals and have a good professional reputation.
But you should know that many highly successful personalities are perfect psychologists who can easily notice fear or anxiety in your eyes during the conversation. They usually listen to their intuition and inner voice, so there’s a high probability that one day they’ll doubt the sincerity of your words and intentions.
In such a case, neither speaking nor listening will help you persuade the interlocutor that your inner tension isn’t a sign of deception. I know that it’s difficult to smile friendly and act naturally when terrible fear and anxiety are running through your veins. If you’re extremely emotional and sensitive listener by nature, you should dedicate enough time to relaxation and make an attempt to find inner peace in your life. As soon as you bid farewell to fears and replace your negative mindset by a positive one, you’ll always leave a good impression on the interlocutors.
5. A bit of constructive criticism is allowed
I don’t know why, but today many people don’t put up with criticism and believe that unpleasant remarks and judgments are used to discredit each other and stab their reputations. It’s nothing else, but a stereotype. Highly intelligent and confident personalities treat criticism as an essential part of their lives. It motivates and inspires them to move on and develop regardless of everything.
I’ve noticed that a bit of constructive criticism don’t spoil the conversation or make mischief between the interlocutors, but on the contrary, prove that you’re a frank, honest and independent person who’s really interested in the interlocutor’s success and personal growth.
Furthermore, the others will see that people-pleasing, flattery and fawning isn’t your pair of shoes. But you should be careful with criticism, because sometimes this beneficial and developmental thing can serve as a weapon. If you don’t know when it’s appropriate, then you should wait a little with criticism.
6. Avoid distractions
Almost every modern human being has a cell phone and other gadgets. It seems people pay too much attention to virtual communication. Even when they have face-to-face conversations, they’re often interrupted by sudden calls or messages. As a result, they receive and answer text messages during the conversation. This behavior is a sign of disrespect, though.
If you want to be a good listener, you should treat the person you’re listening to with respect. It means that you should avoid or limit all possible distractions during the conversation. Just switch your cell phone to silent mode for 5 or 10 minutes and you’ll have an opportunity to discuss all necessary topics and prepossess the interlocutor.
7. Don’t fear to ask questions
If you decide to speak less and listen more, then it’s necessary to ask questions to show the interlocutor that the topic under consideration is interesting and you’re engaged. Psychologists recommend asking open-ended questions instead of Yes or NO ones. They’ll help you revive the conversation and receive detailed answers to the things you’re interested in.
Try not to overwhelm the interlocutor with questions. Otherwise, your pleasant conversation can quickly turn into an interrogation. Be sure that they’re correct and tactful, because the conversation can take an unexpected direction and become strained.
People will never reach mutual understanding, until they learn to listen. The more you listen, the more chances to hear the truth you have. Do you believe that good listening skills can make you highly successful and authoritative person? We’d like to know your point of view!