How to Become an Effective Listener

Being a listener means paying attention not only to our five senses but with our hearts. Anyone can be blessed with the ability to hear sound, but being a gifted listener means being attentive. There are techniques, tips, and different approaches that one can take to enhance our listening skills through effort and desire.

According to study reports made by the Florida State University and Michigan State University stated, ” The average listener will remember only about 25% of what was said” (Nichols and Stevens, “Listening to people”) Conveying that listening isn’t naturally a strong element we possess already, it is a gift that is taught and learned. Julian treasure, a speaker and expert upon the mystery behind sound and communication skills describes this learning experience as a mental process of “extraction” and unconsciously “filtered” (Treasure, 2011, Ted talks). One of the reasons why we lack listening skills is because we generally filter what we prefer to hear versus what we rather not or unless there is a benefit behind it. In ” 5 ways to listen better” Treasure expresses the importance of understanding the value of time as we listen in order to be successful.

One technique to become an effective listener is learning to be “silent”. Society has built our minds to always be on the move creating a foggy scenery, Silence helps refresh our ears and minds allowing us to be both physically and mentally present in the room. Another technique called the “Mixer” is described as a mixing bowl of sounds from birds chirping to the different channels of sounds in a noisy environment. This technique requires being attentive to what sounds you’re listening to, how many sounds there are, how far, or how close are these sounds, enhancing your ability to listen. Treasure recommends two of his many techniques to help become more effective as a listener and to improve the quality of listening in your lifestyle.  

Cruse, Rose. “It is important to be a good listener. Why?”, 17 Oct 2017, Accessed 20 Oct 2020.

Oftentimes it feels good to have someone you can confide with, reveal your tears with, or share your biggest aspirations. By natural instinct as human beings, we have embodied emotions that are universal, allowing us to create empathy amongst us. Therefore, apart from how we may feel occasionally, we can also absorb other people’s emotions which depicts the connection between another living soul. One way to be an effective listener is to make eye contact with your significant other, it shows respect and encourages the other person to express themselves. Secondly, as Treasure mentioned silence is key to listening especially in this given situation, it will help you envision and concentrate on what the other person is communicating to you. It can be a lot of information to retain or analyze therefore, you want to listen thoroughly. Thirdly, clean your mind and be ready to be open-minded, without having any judgment or opinions. Most importantly, do not interrupt or try to relate to the conflict. Most of the time the speaker wants to be heard, don’t make it about you. Lastly, once the speaker has finished ask if they would like feedback or advice on any possible solutions rather than imposing your solutions as it can cause stress or tension. The goal is to be patient and to understand the point of the speaker.

Better yet, if the person needs some cheering up or a friend by their side. Campus Clipper provides a fun variety of in house or online coupons you can use to make conversation, and enjoy a lovely meal. In order to have access to these two, 20% off coupons, you must click on the links provided below. Stay tuned there are more to come!

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By: Yadira Tellez

Yadira is currently enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology, majoring in Fashion Business Management and minoring in English literature. She’s worked in retail and has had the opportunity to work behind the scenes during NYFW. Her dream is to be a Fashion Stylist, but enjoys creative writing to relieve stress and express her mind.

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