Actively listening to others is an essential skill that can benefit both the listener and the speaker. Active listening involves not only hearing what someone is saying but also paying attention to their body language, tone of voice, and overall message. Let’s explore some reasons why active listening is so important.
Firstly, active listening builds strong relationships based on trust, respect, and understanding. When you listen attentively to what someone is saying, they feel heard and valued, which can strengthen your connection with them.
Secondly, It can enhance communication. Active listening helps to enhance communication because it enables you to fully understand the message being conveyed by the speaker. When you understand the speaker’s message, you can respond appropriately and effectively.
Thirdly, it helps to resolve conflicts. Active listening can help to resolve conflicts by allowing each person to express their feelings and needs. Individuals can empathize, comprehend underlying issues, support a collaborative resolution by actively listening, and lower tensions which encourage understanding (Thompson, 2003). When both parties feel heard and understood, they are more likely to reach a mutually beneficial solution (Thompson, 2003).
Fourthly, it can increase others’ learning. Actively listening to others can increase your learning because you are exposed to different perspectives and ideas. By listening to others, you can gain new insights and knowledge that you may not have been aware of before.
Finally, it shows respect. Actively listening to others shows respect for their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. When you listen attentively to someone, you are acknowledging their value as a person and demonstrating that you care about what they have to say.
Active listening involves not just hearing what someone is saying but also paying attention to their body language, tone of voice, and overall message. Here are some tips on how to actively listen to others:
1. Being present:
Pay full attention to the speaker and avoid any distractions. Put away your phone or any other distractions and give the person your full attention.
2. Showing interest:
Show the speaker that you are interested in what they have to say. Make eye contact or nod to show that you are actively listening.
3. Asking questions:
When the speaker is finished talking, ask questions to clarify any points that are unclear. This shows that you are interested in understanding the speaker’s perspective and can help to deepen the conversation.
4. Avoiding interrupting:
Avoid interrupting the speaker or finishing their sentences. Let the speaker finish what they are saying before responding.
Overall, actively listening to others is important because it can help to build strong relationships, enhance communication, resolve conflicts, increase learning, and show respect for others. It is important for all ages to know and is something we all can learn at any stage in our lives.
Thompson, L. (2003). The mind and heart of the negotiator (2nd ed.). Prentice Hall.
Aliyah Gojmerac is in her 4th year of the International Education Studies program at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is passionate about working with the youth and creating an inclusive pedagogical environment in the classroom. The International Education Studies program equips her with creating environments for cross-cultural learning and peaceful community relationships. You will see her crocheting, going out for walks, or gardening in her free time. Aliyah is excited to be working with TREE helping their initiative to bring tools needed to transform conflict, seek justice, and uphold positive peace in communities.