Being a good listener is one of the greatest attributes a person could possibly have. Really listening, and hearing what people are saying, actually makes you powerful. Ironically, people who talk too much and monopolize conversations often believe that they are gaining power by doing this. But over-talking, and under-listening, really just denotes insecurity and a lack of confidence.
When a person knows she is worthy of respect, she is interesting, and she is intelligent, she doesn’t feel the need to prove it by gabbing constantly. That knowledge comes with a silent calmness. Meanwhile, those who actually need to compensate for something, well, they tend to talk a lot.
So, consider listening more and talking less. You already know what’s going on in your mind—so you only gain new information by listening to others. Here are ways to be a better listener in all of your relationships.
Release your thoughts
When someone is talking, you likely come up with something you’d like to say to every half of each sentence. So, you cling onto one of those, and then tune out until the person is silent, only commenting on that thing you clung onto that they said several minutes ago.
Wait until the end
Instead of trying to remember every response you come up with, as thoughts pop up when someone is talking, release them. Let them float by. But keep your mind open to taking in everything they have to say, until they are done talking, before formulating a response. Then you’ll actually answer everything they said, rather than just one thing you clung onto earlier.
It helps you
If you let other people talk more, then you learn their desires, what motivates them, their fears, their insecurities, their buttons, and the things that make them happy. And when you know all that, when it is your turn to speak, you can do so more efficiently and effectively. Listening more now and talking later can mean the conversation goes better.
You don’t always need to answer
Know that you don’t always need to answer someone. You should acknowledge that they’ve spoken, of course, but, keep in mind that you aren’t always responsible for finding a solution to their problem. Sometimes people just want to be heard, not helped, but if you’re focusing on helping, you may not be listening.