Top 5 ways to improve your communication skills: Step 2
May 05, 2015
Listen. Really listen.
If like most people, you’re thinking about all kinds of things while you are in a conversation with someone, rather than simply and deeply listening, you’re likely to be anticipating what someone is going to say next, figuring out how you feel about what they are saying, and planning how you are going to respond.
There are an infinite number of thoughts and feelings you can entertain during a conversation that don’t actually have anything to do with what the other person is saying. If you use some basic techniques while carrying on conversations, it can help you to be more present with people and really listen.
First technique is to maintain some awareness of your body throughout interactions. You might pay some attention to your breathing, or maintain a sense of your posture.
Another approach is to make a deliberate effort to listen while reminding yourself that you don’t know what the other person is going to say next.
Lastly it can help to adopt of sense of curiosity about the other person and question any assumptions you make about their experience.
Any or all of these techniques can help you consciously maintain awareness of being present and receptive.