The Must-Have Superpower: Listening
Listening is the Must-Have Superpower
Yes, you’ve read correctly. I’ll repeat it again for you. Listening is the must-have superpower.
Are you somewhat confused about this statement? Then please bear with me, while I explain and give you four steps on how to perfect your listening skills and become a great communicator.
Preferably you enjoy having conversations with people. Conversations are dialogues, i.e. one person says something while the other person is listening and vice versa. If you’ve watched famous speakers, presenters and entertainers closely, you will have noticed one skill they all have in common. It’s listening. Why is it so important? When listening carefully to what your conversation partners are saying, you are showing them that you respect them. You are spending your valuable time listening to their hopes, thoughts, ideas and anxieties.
They will love you.
Just think about the last time you had to share some vital information. How did you feel when you told someone who really listened to you? You felt relieved, understood, accepted, respected and connected. The person, who only listened to what you had to say, connected with you. You trust this person now more than others. If you asked for this person’s advice, you’d take it. Do you see why I call it a must-have superpower? With this superpower people will feel attracted to you.
They will want to be around you and want to learn from you.
Some people have this superpower naturally, others don’t. However, don’t worry! You can learn the skill of listening, in case you are not gifted with this talent. You will need discipline, practice and these steps:
1. Visual Communication
Look at the person you are having a conversation with. Look them in their eyes. By keeping eye contact you are showing them that you acknowledge what they are telling you. You are giving them your attention. Ignore others around you and focus on the person talking to you. Avoid distractions concerning the connection process. Same thing goes for your devices. Just look around you the next time you sit in a café or restaurant. Most people are more engaged with their smart devices than with the people around them. If you want to make a special connection, learn to ignore your devices. You can mute them or switch them off.
2. Be Empathetic
When concentrating on your conversation partner, put yourself in his or her position. Think of how the person is feeling. How his or her day was. How is he or she feeling, excited, overwhelmed, angry? Observe the body language and ask questions, which underline the vibes you are sensing.
3. Listen Actively
Recap what you’ve heard to show that you are listening and that you truly hear what your conversation partner is telling you. Be curious and ask follow-up questions to signal your interest. Tell your conversation partner which feelings or vibes you are sensing. Try to be his or her mirror, which speaks to them and comforts them.
4. Stay Open-Minded
This is possibly the most difficult step. You won’t be successful at mastering the superpower of listening if you judge the person who is talking to you. You’ll be preoccupied with your thoughts. Having your own opinion is absolutely fine and legitimate. Just put it aside and don’t let it get in the way of making a connection with your conversation partner. He or she will notice if you are not open-minded and start judging.
Remember, your aim is to establish a strong connection.
That just about wraps it up for today
One more thing though, Yvette and I have set up an early interest page for an upcoming programme about perfecting your presentation in English. Check out all the information about it here.
I hope you’ve found this useful and you’ll join me again for more tips and solutions, which have helped my students face their challenges in communicating successfully in English and getting their point across.
Have a wonderful time and take care
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