Being a great listener doesn't need to be a secret. Anyone can improve their listening skills. According to Psychology Today, "Listening is an active process. It does not mean simply sitting silent and staring at someone." Learning good listening skills can help you improve your relationships, understand others better, and find more success in work and life. Here are some tips to help you become a great listener.

Get into Position

Get comfortable and show the person that is talking that you are willing to take the time to listen to what they have to say. Sit down in a chair or if you must stand, lean against a wall and relax.

Make Eye Contact

Eye contact is very important because it shows the person who is talking that you are engaged. This keeps you focused and reduces distractions.

Acknowledge

Simple gestures like a nod of the head or quick word acknowledge what you're hearing. This confirms to the person speaking that you are still actively listening.

Ask Questions

Ask questions as a follow up to what the person was saying. Be careful not interrupt them though. Asking questions will show that you are interested in what they are saying.

Care

Let the speaker know that you care about what they are saying and use a lot of "I" phrases. For example, you can say "I understand how you feel" or "I bet that made you angry."

Never interrupt

Do not interrupt the person. If you have something to say, wait for a pause in the conversation. Also, don't focus on what you want to say next because that distracts from listening to the person.

Refine these listening skills and people will be happy to have you as their friend, spouse or colleague. So, get out there and start practicing. It is a win-win for everyone.

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