Everyone knows that listening is an important life skill. But what makes a good listener? One of the desired qualities in great listeners is empathy.
Empathy allows you to understand and relate to someone else's feelings, making them feel seen and understood. Being a good listener also means paying attention! It doesn't matter how much experience you have or how many degrees you've earned if your mind wanders when someone else is talking to you.
So what makes a good listener? Let's take a look.
This blog post will explore ten qualities that make people great listeners and why those qualities are so important for everyone to possess!
If you're a great listener, you don't get easily distracted. To listen well and hear what the person is saying, it's essential to be in the present moment with them. We know how hard listening is, especially when controlling being distracted.
Possessing this quality makes you exceptional because you've got your ears open and full attention on them. You simply listen to the person and make them feel that they have someone who genuinely hears them out.
Listening requires a high level of curiosity. Usually, people assume that they already know everything to understand that situation.
As a listener, if you're curious to learn more about the person and think there's no end to knowing them, you're on the best track! But an exceptional listener doesn't believe that they know all there is to a problem. Instead, they know that there is so much more to learn about someone, and they'll try their best to learn more.
It is challenging for someone to open up and talk about what's going on in their life. It takes a lot of courage to do that. And a great listener will try their best not to judge the person but instead focus on understanding them. Non-judgmental listeners will empathize much better, resulting in a good relationship. They will appreciate it as they are showing openness for the first time.
When someone tells you something personal or confesses, a good listener always ask relevant questions. Asking appropriate follow-up questions is vital if you're trying to understand how this individual feels inside -- which is why asking insightful and empathetic questions becomes very important!
Interrupting is a sure shot way to kill someone's train of thought. It can also make the speaker feel like they are not being listened to —like their words are meaningless and have no value when you start talking over them!
An exceptional listener always waits for the speaker to finish before talking. Most of the speakers voluntarily ask the listeners to speak, and a listener who keenly listens will always make sure the response is appropriate.
A good listener will resist the temptation to share their own experiences or distract from what the other person has said by adding details about themselves or giving advice. This behavior might be appropriate in some situations, but it should only happen with permission from the individual who shared something first-hand.
A good listener will avoid filling an uncomfortable pause with chatter. It would help if you took the time to process the information you hear and gather thoughts before speaking again. It's a sign of respect when someone takes this opportunity to think rather than ramble. The pause will also make it more likely for the speaker to share more.
A good listener might sometimes be mistaken as being uninterested in what is being said if they wait too long — but really, they are waiting because there is no way to give input unless the speaker is fully done. Indeed, we say that you're an exceptional listener if you do this!
As a listener, it's not your role to give advice or opinions since that is not the point. It is never right to advise people on what they should do unless they ask for it. Furthermore, it can make people feel less independent, something you don't want them to feel like.
A good listener doesn't pity others by telling them how to solve their problems. Doing that takes away from who they are as a person. Empathy assists in understanding one another without taking individual responsibility away, so try that instead!
The last one of good listener characteristics is being available when someone needs you while maintaining boundaries of space and time with yourself during other moments. Even though you can listen virtually through phone calls or video chats, a great listener will put himself into a comfortable physical environment. It ensures that they can be at the person's level.
Listening isn't always easy. Sometimes we get nervous or anxious that we'll say something wrong. It is not easy to give away a piece of yourself to connect with someone else, but it will always help both parties involved if you take your time out for empathy as a good listener! To develop good listener qualities, remember these qualities above, and chances are you'll go above and beyond for the person you're listening to.