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Some people are contact-oriented, while others are much less so, preferring more space between them and the person they're talking to. You'll be a better listener if you honor those spatial preferences. (来源:www.EnglishCN.com)

Again, when you acknowledge the other person both verbally and nonverbally, you build trust and increase rapport. And you'll probably learn something, too!

7. Abstain from judging.

As someone once advised, Grow antennae, not horns. If you prejudge someone as shallow or crazy or ill-informed, you automatically cease paying attention to what they say. So a basic rule of listening is to judge only after you've heard and evaluated what they say. Don't jump to conclusions based on how they look, or what you've heard about them, or whether they're nervous.

In fact, maybe a good exercise would be to go out of your way to listen to a difficult speaker. Maybe he talks with a thick accent. Or talks much more rapidly, or more slowly, than you, or uses a lot of big words. Whatever difficulty this speaker poses, seize it as an opportunity not to prejudge but to practice your listening skills. Given some time, you'll become more comfortable and effective in listening to diverse styles.

8. Listen with empathy.

No matter how outrageous, inconsiderate, false, self-centered, or pompous the person you're talking to is, remember He or she is simply trying to survive, just like you. We all deal with similar physical and psychological concerns. Some of us just have better survival strategies than others.

Listening with empathy means asking yourself, Where is this person's anger coming from What is he or she asking for What can I do that's reasonable and noncondemning You're not everyone's shrink, and you don't have to carry the weight of the world on your back.

But, on the other hand, if you can think through what makes this person behave like this, perhaps you'll be inclined to cut them a little slack. Genuinely listening well is, at its heart, an act of love, and as such, may help heal.

9. Be sensitive to emotional deaf spots.

Deaf spots are words that make your mind wander or go off on a mental tangent. They automatically produce a mental barrier that impedes listening. Everybody is affected that way by certain words.

For example, a speaker giving a talk to savings-and-loan personnel kept saying, bank. To members of that industry, banks and S&Ls are very different things and so each reference to them as bankers irritated the audience and aroused emotions that temporarily derailed their listening.

So be alert to what your own deaf spots are and make adjustments. And try to find out what raises the hackles of other people, then avoid those words so as to raise the likely level of listening.

10. Create and use an active-listening attitude.

Learning to be an active listener is like learning to be an active jogger. It takes effort. You start little by little and work upward. It's as much a state of mind as a physical activity. Besides, as you work longer and get better, it pays ever-increasing benefits.

An active-listening attitude can help tremendously in breaking your poor listening habits. Exercising such an attitude means

Appreciating that listening is as powerful as speech. What someone says to you is just as critical as what you have to say to them.

Realizing that listening saves time and effort. Those who listen create fewer mistakes, fewer misunderstandings, and fewer false starts.

Understanding that listening to everybody is important and worthwhile. Look for that something you can learn from each and every person you meet.

 
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