In this blog, we will be looking at verbal communication from the listener’s perspective. As mentioned in the previous blog, communication is a two-way process – it’s a contract between two people with a speaker and a listener. Of course, these two roles can be interchangeable, with the speaker becoming the listener, the listener becoming the speaker and vice versa. So what should the listener be doing when the speaker is speaking?
Step 1. Listening actively. What does active listening actually mean?
Well, there are three levels of listening:
Level 1: What’s in it for me? This is when the listener is only actually interested in finding out what they can get from the person rather than what they can give. What does this look, sound and feel like to you as the speaker? (Eyes darting around the room, rather than the main focus being on the speaker, fidgety, a feeling of disinterest.)
Level 2: You are watching the person and observing them but not joining in.
Level 3: This is active listening. What does this look, sound and feel like? When you are actively listening, you listen with every part of the body. You concentrate fully on the speaker, giving to them entirely and making them feel special and listened to. Be aware of your body language. Are you making eye contact, are you nodding, are you smiling with encouragement and interest? Is your mind free of other thoughts such as your response? Suspend the need to formulate a response.
Step 2. If you genuinely do not understand what the speaker is saying, take responsibility and ask for clarification. If you don’t do this, and then there is a problem later on, it is unfair to blame the speaker for the misunderstanding. In short, take responsibility for your own understanding. The person speaking may not be very articulate or good at expressing themselves. This is not an excuse.
Step 3. Confirm in writing, if it is important.
Vanessa Ugatti helps people to communicate with greater clarity, credibility and confidence so that they attract clients effortlessly, inspire their teams and achieve their business and personal goals. For more information, please contact Vanessa on 01202 743961 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org