Paying proper attention to what other people have to say is one of the most important life skills you need to acquire. Actively listening will have a profound impact on your personal and professional life.
By making a conscious effort to digest what others have to offer, you gain useful information on which to base decisions and knowledge to support personal progression. This means opportunities present themselves with greater clarity. Listening also demonstrates to people that you care about and appreciate their views and feelings – a vital component for building relationships based on mutual respect.
Creating an environment and a regime that allows you to have periods of calm reflection has the effect of heightening your levels of consciousness, which helps you to become a more effective listener. This means making time for regular breaks in order to take a step back from the buzz around you to clear your mind.
By freshening your mind, you create more space to absorb what’s going on around you. Your mind becomes a receiver of information, which you can act upon more effectively.
This structured approach to listening enables you to construct replies that do away with shooting from the hip – you become more considered in your thinking. The fact that you have been taking everything in and building this into your reply makes you more engaging to your audience. Active listening allows you to pick up on opportunities that would have otherwise been missed as a result of the mind noise. So listen with both your eyes and ears.
Make sure you have finished SPEAKING before your audience has finished LISTENING