Communication is more important in this high-tech, high-speed and ever-developing world. Yet we all seem to devote less time in talking and even lesser time in listening to one another. Listening is an essential part of any communication. But not everyone is good at it as we are always in a hurry to speak instead of trying to comprehend what is being told by the other person. And if you are a career-oriented individual or an entrepreneur, it becomes more important for you to understand the essence of listening. According to the study, an average adult spends 70% of their time in communicating with people, out of which 45% in listening, 30% in speaking and remaining in reading or writing. Being a professional, maintaining the correct ratio of all can be a critical job. While keeping the prime focus on the listening part.

That is not enough. We often underestimate the power of listening without understanding that it can solve many problems. But for this one need to enhance the capacity for empathy, listening? “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”-Ernest Hemingway, an American journalist, novelist and short-story writer. He once mentioned that people don’t observe what other people are talking. He has always preferred looking beyond the vowels and the consonants, understanding people’s body language, getting clarity on their thoughts and beliefs.

Empathetic Listening is a rare gift and the need of the hour. At work, attentive listening means fewer errors, less waste of time and more productivity. It can build friendships, careers and marriages as well. Count on it! Here are some tips that will help you become a good listener. And if you have read the above information carefully, you are getting closer.

Maintain the eye contact

Talking to someone while they scan the walls of the room, your computer screen or a bird hopping at your windowpane. How much attention can you get from the person? 60 percent? 65 percent, maybe? Not just in the personal but professional world also, eye contact is a very basic element that keeps the conversation tight. Put aside all the distractions like phone, papers, book etc. and just look at them.

Pay attention to what is said

Just pay attention to what is said!?

Don’t Jump to Conclusions

Listening without jumping to conclusions is the best thing a person can do. Always remember that the speaker is using the language to represent the thoughts inside his/her brain. As soon as you indulge in any judgemental bewilderment, you have conceded your effectiveness of being a good listener. You wouldn’t ever want that. Right? You would never know what the message is until you listen to them with an open heart and mind. So, keep an open mind.

Try to Picture Things

Allow your mind to create pictures of the information which is being communicated. This can be a fun game. Be it an arrangement of abstracts, or a cartoonish figure or maybe some real people whom you would be able to relate to the situation. Let your brain do some exercise while you stay focused on the words.

Ask to Understand

Never assume that you have understood everything. If you didn’t understand, ask questions. If you are feeling uncomfortable in asking questions, say that, but ask the question anyway. There is no escape. It’s easy for a speaker to know from where he can expect a good question. Then listen more and ask more.

Go Get Some Fresh Air