Listening – a highly under utilized skill
Knowing how to converse and listen to others is crucial to your development as a person, a couple, or just somebody who wants to have lots of friends.
The great thing about learning to communicate well is that a few simple pointers can be applied to any area of your life. You’ll be amazed by the results.
Choose the right place. It’s no use trying to reveal or discuss something if you do not feel safe. You’ll need to decide exactly what sort of location would make you feel that way, but don’t engage in important conversations if you feel like someone could overhear, like the room is so small you feel trapped, and so on.
Decide what you want to say. Most people start talking without any clue as to what they want you to know. If you do the same thing, don’t expect anyone to understand you.
As an addendum to the tip above, make sure you stay on topic. If you want to discuss one thing but talk about two, you can’t expect your audience to know automatically what they should pay attention to.
The most widely applicable advice is to listen. Most people don’t, to be honest. But when other people know you listen, they’ll be much more likely to listen to you. Paraphrase, repeat, and ask questions whenever someone has something to tell you. Not only will they realise that you are listening but you’ll understand what they’re trying to communicate, which makes the whole thing a lot easier.
Most of these bullet points sound pretty serious, but you can use them in less important conversations as well. It’s all about deciding what you want out of a given conversation: if it’s something important, it’d make sense to adhere pretty closely to these rules, but if you’re just shooting the breeze, you don’t need to take them so seriously. And remember, the more you practice the easier it gets.
Good luck everyone, putting in the practice.