Tips to Develop Effective Listening Skills for the GED

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Tips to Develop Effective Listening Skills

While hearing refers to the sounds that you hear, listening requires more than that. It requires focus and paying attention to how it is being told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body. These basically means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages. Meanwhile, one’s ability to listen effectively may depend on the degree to which they perceive and understand such messages.

Here are some important tips to help you develop effective listening skills:

Stop Talking
When someone else is talking, listen to what they are saying and do not interrupt. Also, don’t talk over them or finish their sentences for them. Just listen and when the other person has finished talking, that’s the time that you may need to clarify things in order to ensure that you have received their message accurately.

Prepare Yourself to Listen
You have to focus on the speaker and put other things out of mind. Take note that the human mind is easily distracted by other thoughts. You may be thinking what’s for lunch or what time do I need to leave to catch my train. Try to put those other thoughts out of mind and just concentrate on the messages that are being communicated. While the speaker is talking, maintain an eye contact but don’t stare. This will show that you are really listening and understanding what is being said.

Remove Distractions
Avoid unnecessary interruptions such as doodling, shuffling papers, looking out the window, and other similar things. Such behaviors will disturb the listening process and will give an impression to the speaker that you are bored or distracted.

Empathise
Let go of some preconceived ideas and try to look at issues from the perspective of others. To fully empathise with the speaker, have an open mind. If there is something that the speaker says that you disagree with, just wait and construct an argument in order to counter what is said. However, keep an open mind to the views and opinions of other people.

Be Patient
It is common for a speaker to pause for some time. But does not necessarily mean that they are already finished. Be patient and let them continue in their own time. Remember that sometimes, it may take time to formulate what to say and how to say it. Thus, don’t interrupt or try to finish a sentence for someone.

Listen for Ideas – Not Just Words
While listening, you need to get the whole picture and not just isolated bits and pieces. The difficult aspect here is how you link together such pieces of information in order to reveal the ideas of others. Just have proper concentration, let go of distractions, and focus on achieving this.

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