Listening Is As Important As Speaking

While engaging in conversations with friends and co-workers, how often do you feel that the other person has truly heard what you've said?

If you want to succeed in social settings, relationships, and business, one way to ensure your success is to be a great listener.

There are a few simple rules you can follow to help you become a better listener, therefore enhancing your conversation skills.

1. Stop talking.

It sounds very simplistic but if you are constantly talking, how can others express themselves? Make an effort to shift the focus of the conversation to the other person.

Be aware of your own body language. Match the other person's body language by leaning forward when they lean forward, etc.

Attention to small details will give the person you are speaking with a feeling that you truly hear what they are saying and that you are genuinely interested in their opinions.

If you sit with your arms crossed, constantly check your watch, or stare out the window, the person with whom you are speaking will feel that you are distant and disinterested.

2. Pay attention to the tone of your voice.

Even if you are only giving brief answers or asking short questions, the tone of your voice plays a major part in communicating effectively.

If your tone suggests a condescending attitude, boredom, or anger, you will lose your audience and people will no longer want to spend time speaking with you or listening to what you have to say.

A respectful, preferably friendly tone will allow you to communicate efficiently and earn you the respect of others.

3. In order to move the conversation forward, ask questions to clarify or invite additional information.

Questions indicate that you are fully attentive to what is being said and that you have a real interest in the speaker's views.

Give your full attention to the speaker. When you show others that you want to hear them, they will automatically grant you the same courtesy.

Maintain eye contact and always face the speaker. You will be able to express your own views much more effectively if you have the full attention of your audience.

If you give your full attention, you will certainly receive the same in return.

4. Engage in light, pleasant conversation as often as you engage in meaningful, direct conversation.

If you always guide the conversation in the direction of achieving your goal, you will leave the impression of distance and a superior attitude.

You will get a much more favorable response if you relate to others on a personal level as well as in a professional or authoritative manner.

People want to feel appreciated and unique. Make a point to address each person you encounter and do so in a positive, friendly manner. Conversation skills include treating others as you would like to be treated.

Good conversation skills include much more than simply speaking with others. Listening, good body language, questioning, pleasantries, and mutual respect are important elements in any conversation and are also personality traits exhibited by successful people.

You can improve your image and your ability to communicate if you follow these simple guidelines when communicating with others.

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report:10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. This report reveals the secret strategies all high achievers use to communicate with charm and impact. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: http://www.howtotalkwithconfidence.com/repo rt.htm

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