How can we improve our listening skills?

Here are some tips to help you:
• start listening with the first word and then listen intently
• stop what you are doing and listen – don’t be tempted to do two things at once
• turn off all negative thoughts you have about the speaker
• think at the speed they’re talking, don’t jump ahead
• do not interrupt
• find an area of interest
• judge the content and not the delivery
• suspend your judgement and keep an open mind
• actively listen for ideas
• resist distractions if you possibly can
• make listening noises, particularly if you are on the telephone, for example ‘uh, uh, yes’, and if faceto-face ensure that your body language looks as if it is listening, give good eye contact.

Exercises for improving your listening skills:
1. Take five minutes a day to sit quietly somewhere, close your eyes and listen to all the sounds around you. Become conscious of them. How many different sounds can you hear? In addition to improving your listening skills this can also be relaxing.

2. When you are having a conversation with another person, receive what he or she has said before rushing in to make your contribution. If you feel you want to interrupt, think about pausing and breathing before you start to talk. A pause before you speak can also add significance.

3 Listen to the radio as much as possible – talk programmes, not music. What information did you receive? Can you summarize it?

sumber : “Communicating with more Confidence” karya : Pauline Rowson.
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