Listening is an incredibly important skill that we often take for granted.

We all have two ears, yet many of us don’t utilise them to their fullest potential. It’s so easy to only pay attention to the surface level of what someone is saying and miss the nuances and underlying feelings. To really understand what someone is saying, you need to practice the art of listening. In this blog post, I will provide tips on how to really hear what others are saying. 

Having two ears is not just about hearing the words, but rather interpreting them in a way that allows us to gain a deeper understanding of what is being said. Listening isn’t just about hearing someone’s words; it is about recognizing what lies beneath them and how they are connected to other ideas. It is also about being aware of the non-verbal cues that accompany words and sentences, such as facial expressions, posture, hand gestures, and so on. 

The skill of paying attention is essential to the art of listening. When someone is speaking, it’s important to give them your undivided attention. Paying attention means staying focused on what the other person is saying, not getting distracted or looking at something else. It’s important to make eye contact with the speaker so they know you are listening.

It’s also important to listen without interruption. Allow the speaker to finish before jumping in with your opinion or ideas. Let them know that their opinion matters and that you value their input.

Understanding is the key to effective listening. It involves truly grasping what is being said, not just hearing it. When someone is speaking to you, take the time to try and understand the meaning behind their words. Think about what they’re saying and how it relates to your own thoughts and experiences. Ask questions if something isn’t clear, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. This will help ensure that both you and the speaker are on the same page. By understanding what someone is saying, you can respond in a way that is beneficial to the conversation.

By practising these three elements—the two ears, paying attention, and understanding—you can learn to become a better listener. Doing so will help you develop meaningful relationships, create better conversations, and show respect for those around you.