Making great decisions. Young beautiful woman gesturing and discussing something with smile while her coworkers listening to her sitting at the office table

Good listening is an art it’s well worth cultivating. Practicing good listening is valuable and powerful in any situation. When you listen carefully, you can respond and take action appropriately and gain respect at work, within your family and in social situations.

When you feel uncomfortable in a new environment, you need to listen and learn so that you can adapt your behavior to fit in and become comfortable. When you have a disagreement with your child or your other half, you need to listen to their side of the argument, so you can either counter it effectively or find some middle ground where you can both be happy to leave it. When meeting new people at a dinner party, if you are a good listener and ask intelligent questions, you will soon be a popular member of the party.

At work, if you are a boss, your staff will be loyal if they know you listen to their concerns and ideas and will give them due consideration, but explain your good reasons if you cannot take them further. If you listen properly to what your boss wants of you and make sure you understand it, you will be able to carry out the tasks to their satisfaction right away.

Tips for Ensuring you Have Powerful Listening Skills.

Don’t relate everything someone says to yourself. Do ration your own anecdotes so you don’t turn the conversation your way.

Don’t accept what is not clear or what you don’t understand. Do concentrate on finding out where the person talking is coming from. If something is not clear, ask to have it clarified.

Don’t just hear what is said. Do notice the demeanor of speakers and their body language. It can add to your understanding.

Don’t just identify what is being said. Do try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and empathize.

Don’t lose concentration by thinking of something to say while another person is talking. Do be attentive and give them time to finish what they want to get across.

Don’t just listen passively. Do be a good listener who contributes or asks questions to lead the conversation.

Don’t make promises you can’t or won’t keep. Do follow up on what you have promised or what ideas the conversation has inspired.

Don’t lose that phone number you were given. Do make the call in a reasonable time frame.

Don’t let the power of good listening slip away. Do find out what they want when they talk to you. Find out what they like, and facilitate that if the opportunity comes up.

Both at work and in relationships, that last tip, is so important. When you can help someone else, apart the feeling of wellbeing you get from it, other benefits often come back to you in the fullness of time.