Active Listening for Better Understanding

Parent –child relationship depends upon mutual trust and love. Parents have to make that extra effort to make the child feel closer to the child. They also need to take time out and spend it with the child, listen to his woes and complaints as well as joys. A child feels good when he or she shares her experiences with the parents. They love telling stories to the parents. The time spent with parents is a joyous experience for them.

Parents often do not have time for their child. Those who are working are busy completing their official chores. Even housewives often do not spend time with the child. They are too engrossed with household chores. What the child requires is an active listener, someone who shows keen interest in what they are doing. The art of listening has to be cultivated. Even children have to develop it. How is this possible?

Tips for Active Listening

  • One should avoid being distracted while listening. Many times the other person maybe saying something important, but we are either watching television or performing some other task
  • Do not appear bored about what the other person is saying. Appearing so can put off the other person and may decide not to share his or her thoughts with you
  • Do not interrupt. Let the other person say whatever he or she wants to say. You need not put forth your view at that point of time. You can do it after the person has finished what he or she has to say. Interrupting a person is being rude. You are not giving a fair chance to the other person
  • Do not pass judgment over what the other person is saying. He or she may just want you to listen to him or her. He or she may not accept your judgment. Your judgment may offend him or her, and he or she may not speak to you again
  • Give full attention to the person speaking. He or she should feel that your are interested in what he or she saying
  • Look at the person who is speaking
  • Use appropriate verbal and nonverbal responses
  • Do not make the person guilty if he or she is confiding in you
  • Maintain eye-to-eye contact
  • Encourage the other person to talk
  • Do not ask questions that are difficult to be answered
  • Try to extend the conversation
  • Share you own thoughts
  • Try to reflect the feelings of the person who is sharing his or her thoughts

One should be a good listener. Many people are in search of a person who can listen to their thoughts and feelings. A good listener is compassionate and understanding. He or she is patient also. One must not ignore what the other person is saying. A good listener has many friends!

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