Do you find yourself getting distracted while listening to someone speak? Do you have a habit of tuning out when someone is talking to you? If so, then you may be guilty of one or more of the following bad listening habits. When you’re learning to listen, there are a lot of things that can get in the way. Especially if you’re not used to being a good listener and/or you don’t know how to focus on what’s being said.
You might have the best ideas in the world, but they won’t be worth anything if you can’t communicate them effectively. Listening is one of those skills that’s so easy to take for granted, like breathing or walking. But listening well isn’t just about hearing someone else speak; it’s also about paying attention to what they’re saying and responding appropriately—which means there are a lot of ways we could be doing better when we’re on the receiving end of information. To help you refine your listening habits, here are some common pitfalls that hinder understanding:
If you want to improve your relationships, you need to know how to listen. Listen without interrupting. When the other person is talking, don’t finish their sentences for them or add anything of your own. Use active listening techniques such as asking questions and repeating what the speaker has just said so that they know you are listening closely and comprehending everything they’re saying. Don’t forget to ask questions that show interest in what they have shared with you! Avoid distractions like checking texts on your phone or looking at social media posts while speaking with someone else (I’m guilty of this one). Being distracted can make it difficult for the speaker to feel heard by you–even if they’re talking about something interesting (like memes).
By taking the time to understand your own listening habits, you can make a conscious decision to change them. If you find that you are guilty of any of these bad listening habits, consider how they may be holding you back from being the best version of yourself. Listen carefully and learn from others around you so that your relationships are stronger and more fulfilling!