How to listen correctly: 20 tips for sincere conversations

If you want to learn how to get along with people, then you will have to master the ability to listen. Despite its apparent simplicity, few people attach serious importance to this. At the same time, this is a critical skill in order to understand others well and to make them interested in you. Listening directly helps develop communication skills. Effective communication psychology specialist Dale Carnegie writes that it is the ability to listen that is a powerful lever of influence on people, and not the ability to speak (as one might think).

Listen and hear - what's the difference?

First, let's figure out what is the difference between the ability to listen to a person and the ability to hear a person?

Listen ” and “ hear ” are two close, but essentially very different skills.

The ability to listen is about the ability to listen so that your interlocutor wants to open up to you, speaks to you openly and with pleasure.

The ability to hear is the ability to hear the interlocutor, and not your various thoughts about what he said. Hear exactly what is said, the essence of what is said.

Listening does not mean hearing

Do you remember how often, when communicating with a stranger, you paid more attention to thinking about your next remark, rather than to the content of what the interlocutor said? Can you say what exactly they told you or are only your answers imprinted in your memory?

Today, thanks to modern means of communication, contacts between people are much easier than 30 years ago. At the same time, technical means prevent a true understanding of the other side. In such a short period of time, we have almost completely forgotten how to effectively interact with people, limiting ourselves to transmitting the necessary information. The problem has become so acute that many serious companies conduct training for their employees, teaching them proper listening skills. Top managers are well aware that productive cooperation directly depends on the ability of each employee to communicate with clients.

The famous businessman, founder of the Virgin Group and billionaire Richard Branson is convinced that effective exchange of information within a company is impossible without the ability to listen and hear. His opinion has been confirmed by numerous studies: active listeners always have a wider social circle, and they themselves are reliably protected from stress.

How to learn to listen to a person.


Put aside all your activities and try to concentrate on what the person is telling you. Maintain “warm attention” to the interlocutor and do not get distracted.

Unfortunately, during a conversation, many “pretend” that they are listening to the interlocutor, although this is not the case, hence misunderstanding and conflict.

Try to maintain contact with a person, a living person, sincere feeling and support.

Don’t object to your interlocutor, even if you really want to, try to take his side (remember the “Perception Position” exercise).

If you don’t understand something, ask clarifying questions to your interlocutor, while being in a state of interest and full attention to him.

Train yourself to nod, reflecting the feelings of your interlocutor with your face.

Did you know that nodding is the main element of a person's listening skill. Your nod says that you are “on the same wavelength” with the interlocutor, that you hear and understand him. You understand what he is saying and that you care.

It can be helpful to add any words of “understanding” to the nod, such as: “Uh-huh.” Yes! It's clear. Wow!"

At the same time, your face should express sincere interest in the interlocutor and respond positively to what he says.

Rules for being an attentive listener

We hope that we have convinced you of the need to learn to hear your interlocutor? We invite you to get acquainted with the basic principles of an attentive listener.

Learn to be silent

As Mark Twain said, if a person were more adept at talking than at listening, he would have two tongues and one ear. Know how to pause your words, do not try to attract the attention of everyone present with continuous monologues. Get rid of the habit of interrupting your interlocutor, even if it seems to you that you have already understood the essence of what he wants to say.

Listen carefully

When talking with someone, try not to be distracted by extraneous interference: turn off your phone, computer, etc. You can establish contact by fully concentrating on the subject of the conversation. Don't be distracted by extraneous thoughts, put aside thoughts about traffic jams and bad weather. There is nothing worse than the understanding that they are not listening to you, but are hovering in other realities - not everyone will want to continue communication under such conditions.

Keep it casual

If you are moderately relaxed, it will also be easier for your interlocutor to feel relaxed. Eye contact, approving gestures and facial expressions will create an atmosphere of trust, and communication will definitely work out.

Learn empathy

Empathy is the ability to share the emotions and feelings of another person. In a conversation, try to delve not only into the essence of what was said, but also into the experiences of the interlocutor. Only by perceiving the experiences as a whole will you be able to take the position of a storyteller and assess the situation impartially. Your empathy will definitely endear you to people.

Be patient

Give your interlocutor the opportunity to speak, and do not move the conversation to another topic until he has exhaustively stated everything he wants. A pause in a conversation does not always become a signal to change the topic; sometimes the narrator falls silent to collect his thoughts. The ability to listen lies in a patient and sensitive attitude; never continue a phrase started by another - this is a manifestation of bad taste. Demonstration of telepathic abilities is permissible only when communicating with friends.

Get rid of prejudices

Perhaps you are annoyed by a loud voice, excessive gestures, stuttering, shyness, accent and much more in your interlocutor. Try not to get irritated, otherwise you will not be able to evaluate the content of the conversation impartially. Focus on the meaning, not the form of speech. In order to adequately perceive your interlocutor, especially during an important conversation, under no circumstances drink alcohol until you sort things out.

Pay attention to ideas, not words

Professional psychologists are able to assemble a mosaic from fragments of information into a big picture. You must learn not to fixate on individual words, but to delve into the essence, which is not always obvious. Mastering this skill is not easy, but in trying to analyze what is said, you can make a mistake in assessing the meaning and attribute to the person thoughts that do not belong to him. If something makes you doubtful, clarify whether you understood the interlocutor correctly, instead of drawing false conclusions.

To understand - ask

Sometimes dislike for a person pushes us into unconstructive communication. We ask uncomfortable questions, trying to catch an unpleasant person in lies or insincerity. Such communication can only lead to even greater disunity. To achieve mutual understanding, ask and listen carefully to the answers, without trying to look for pitfalls. Be as objective as possible.

Pick up nonverbal messages

Communication will be more effective if you learn to read body language, facial expressions, and intonation. You will learn the unsaid by mastering the science of nonverbal communications. Often, a person’s words and behavior do not coincide so much that it is noticeable, but we prefer to take into account what we hear, neglecting the obvious manifestations of the emotional state of the interlocutor.

Sixteen secrets of communication for successfully understanding a person

In order to successfully learn to listen to a person, you need to master several secrets/skills, which I will tell you about today.

You may already know some of them and successfully master them, then rejoice at this: “Wow! Well done!”, and start mastering what is not yours yet.

So here we go, sixteen communication secrets/skills:

  • It is difficult for me to establish contact with a person and get him to talk. If so, master the Sunshine exercise.
  • I keep the conversation going by nodding, expressing agreement, and showing interest. If this is not the case, train yourself to do so.
  • I never demonstrate boredom, melancholy, or even indifference during a conversation. If this is not the case, then wean yourself from this bad habit. It's just bad manners.
  • I can listen to my interlocutor to the end, even if he is distracted and says obviously erroneous and unfair things. If this is not the case, teach yourself this. Yes, it's not easy, but it will increase your efficiency.
  • Whatever feelings arise in me, I do not interrupt the interlocutor, and let him calmly finish speaking to the end. If this is not so, we learn to keep a Diary of Emotions, otherwise it is a disgrace. A person with internal culture does not allow himself to do this.
  • If a person interrupts me, I calmly stop. Two people cannot speak at the same time. If this is not so, learn it. If the interlocutor is not well-mannered, why be like him?
  • Even if the interlocutor uses prickly phrases, I continue the discussion calmly, carefully and correctly. If this is not the case, pay attention to the article “Magnetic Look”. It will help you. It will teach you to be at peace in any stressful situation.
  • If the story goes in the wrong direction, I know how to gently redirect it in the right direction. If this is not the case, then master the “Internal Translator” exercise and learn to do everything with a smile. You will succeed.
  • When a person talks about what worries him, I ask about what worries him, and do not turn the conversation to “about my own and about myself.” If this is not the case, set yourself such a task and practice. It's easy and fun.
  • When a person talks, my eyes are not away, but always on the interlocutor. If this is not the case, train the “Magnetic Look” and the inner smile. You'll like it.
  • I listen carefully to my interlocutor and can almost always repeat all his main thoughts. If this is not the case, practice the repetition verbatim. Important exercise!

  • I feel what a person really cares about, and I know how to give him the emotional support he needs. If this is not the case, practice the “Feeling” exercise. The exercise is not easy, but super interesting.

  • I listen to smart and business people intelligently, and to worried and worried people with my soul. If this is not the case, during the conversation, think and determine what is important to you and what is important to your interlocutor.
  • When maintaining a conversation, I often bring up not negative and conflicting thoughts, but positive ones that bring us closer together. If this is not so, start taking care of yourself and do such simple and important things
  • When something is unclear to me in what a person is saying, I don’t lose interest, but ask questions to figure it out. If this is not the case, your emotions are interfering with you, so again the “Magnetic Look”
  • I am proficient in the “Repeat-Agree-Add” technique and always use it when necessary. If this is not the case, master this technique.

How to listen correctly. What does listening give?

Truly listening and hearing each other is very important. This helps to build strong relationships, solve various problems, and ensure mutual understanding. Listening to people is an essential skill.

For example, at work, effective interaction between people who know the answer to the question “how to listen correctly” reduces the number of mistakes and waste of time. Such professionals can make difficult decisions because they have a large amount of information received from different people. They can also avoid conflicts caused by misunderstandings, they are confident in themselves and easily find a common language with others.

How to become one of these people, to improve relationships both in the family and at work, we will talk in this article. 20 effective tips for building good relationships with a variety of people are waiting for you! Read the article and learn how to listen correctly!

But before we get down to advice, let's talk about one interesting phenomenon.

Emotional intellect

Scientists have recently coined a new term: “emotional intelligence.” It means the ability to understand the emotions of other people and manage your own emotional state.

When you have a high level of emotional intelligence, you will be able to not only discern the motives of another person, but also feel and understand yourself. For example, catch the moment when it’s time for you to relieve stress or change your environment, so as not to burn out emotionally.

In this state, you will be able to resolve conflicts and find the best solutions in the most difficult situations. In disputes, you will become more aware of what your opponents want and how best to behave with them.

Already, many large international companies are testing the level of emotional intelligence. A study was recently conducted among the largest US companies (Google, Pepsi and others), it revealed that 90% of leading managers have a high level of emotional intelligence.

Therefore, in order to build a successful career you need to have not only a high IQ, but also an EQ. A person with high levels of emotional intelligence is a good empath. He is able to well recognize the emotions of another person, predict his behavior and motivation. Such an employee will be useful in any position. In addition, he understands on a subconscious level how to listen and speak correctly.

A person gifted with emotional intelligence strives to achieve his goals, regardless of failures and setbacks.

Give your interlocutor feedback

Communication always involves two people, alternately acting as the speaker and the listener. For the first one, one’s own reasoning is always clear. But for the listener they may be confusing or not completely clear.

As a listener, you must provide feedback so that your opponent understands that he needs to stop and explain the point further. Feel free to ask clarifying questions and say what you hear out loud so that you can be corrected if you are confused.

It is better to clarify something during a conversation than to find yourself in an awkward situation later.

Listening skills include:

  • Be in a calm state, do not lose your presence of mind.
  • There is no need to judge or evaluate what is said. Otherwise, you can easily lose trust.
  • Try to restrain yourself from acting. Often, a person already knows a way out of the current situation, he begins to look for support. After listening, you will help him decide on the necessary steps.

When talking, the question “What are you planning to do?” is often appropriate.
to this or that event that happened to the interlocutor. But there is no need to rush to such a question. It is better if the statement is made in the form of an invitation: “I suggest you think about what is best to do?”, “If you wish, I will tell you what action I would take in this case.”

Use meditation techniques

In yoga and meditation classes, teachers often use proper breathing techniques to get students to focus on the moment. If during a conversation you notice that you are thinking about something of your own and are not listening to your interlocutor, pay attention to how you breathe - this will help you not to be distracted from the conversation.

Proper breathing helps you calm down, which means it will be easier for you to perceive information. This breathing pause will give you the opportunity to break out of the cobwebs of your own thoughts and look at them from a fresh point of view. And when it comes time to respond, you can say something more useful and relevant.

Unbiased listening breaks down barriers

In a conversation, it is important to remove personal motives and overcome barriers that prevent effective listening.

We are constantly distracted from listening by a huge number of external stimuli: the telephone, dog barking, children's noisy games, a person's appearance.

Internal irritants also interfere - a stream of thoughts, an obsessive melody, anxieties, worries, emotions.

When talking, it would be good to suppress intrusive thoughts in your mind. Imagine them not mattering at this moment. Don’t be distracted, fuss, or disconnect from your interlocutor.

In a conversation, you need to be here and now, to get to know the essence of a person. Focus on the main and important thoughts of the interlocutor.

This ability to participate is helped by the ability to hear with the heart. Listening with the heart is a very deep form of interaction between people, which helps to be on the same sensory wavelength and adapt to the speaker. It’s not for nothing that the sage said: “When hearts listen, angels sing.”

When you listen to feedback, refrain from objecting while the other person speaks out. If you are criticized, remain silent. Imagine that higher powers are speaking through the person criticizing you. Maybe so, maybe not so. Answer what you think, figure it out, and then give an answer if possible according to the situation.

In cases where immediate feedback is expected from you, remember that there is no need to fall into the role of a “rescuer” and give unsolicited advice. It is advisable to simply state the facts you know about the issue under discussion. Rami Bleckt, a teacher and consultant in Eastern psychology, advises: “By sharing ideas and information, we leave freedom of choice for the listeners, allowing them to independently determine their attitude to what is said. In this case, they can perceive these ideas and information in the light of their own goals, knowledge and experience, applying them according to their own understanding. A solution should never be forced. This is an important esoteric principle. We give a person objective and reliable information, but he must make a choice himself.”

Do not succumb to the emotional pressure of your interlocutor

When listening to an excited or emotional interlocutor, focus only on the meaning of the words. Let go of your emotions so that your own feelings don't block what you really need to know. Otherwise, you risk becoming a victim of manipulation.

Do not say phrases to your interlocutor like: “I understand your feelings.” As a rule, such statements are perceived as an attempt to convince the person that you are listening to him. Please note that this looks like an attempt, and such an attempt causes serious distrust in you.

Listen not only to the words, but also pay attention to the feelings of the interlocutor

This advice especially applies to communicating with girls.

In addition to the information conveyed in a conversation, most people also put their emotions and feelings into the message. Understanding the feelings of your interlocutor is very important, because through them he shares with you information that he does not want or cannot voice.

For example, a girl may always paint her reaction to your passion for extreme sports in negative terms. You may think she doesn't understand the sport or doesn't like it. In fact, she cares very much about you, so much so that she would like to forbid you to risk yourself.

What does "hear" mean?

Hearing is a person’s ability to perceive sounds from the environment through the organs of hearing. The ability to both direct hearing to any sounds and perceive them. Hearing is a physical act, like seeing or touching. When we hear, information is perceived superficially. We do not delve deeply into the meaning of what we hear, but simply grasp familiar words without going into their specific meaning.

By hearing, we only build a superficial picture, and even then not always.

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