Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others. The way to improve your listening skills is to practice “active listening.” This is done by not only hearing what a person says but understand the message that they are communicating. By providing this ‘feedback’ the person speaking will usually feel more at ease hence opening the lines of communication. To achieve this skill of active listening, use the 6 phrases below.
1. “I’m not sure I understand.”
This is a way to clarify what he person you’re listening to said. You do this to make sure you actually heard a statement and what it it really means.
2. “It sounds like … “
This phrase shows that you understand how the person that you are talking to feels. Phrase it as an expression of how you interpret their emotion.
The phrase emphasizes different emotions including excitement or shock. This shows that you’re paying attention and want the person that you are talking to, to elaborate on something they’ve said to you.
4. “I’ve noticed that … “
This shows that you are observational about non-verbal communication.
5. “Let’s make sure I’m hearing you correctly.”
You check what your counterpart said by summarizing what you heard. By repeating back something to the person you’re listening to, you show that you are paying attention. You also show that you have understood what that person said.
6. “I’m sorry. How can I help?”
This shows that you are empathetic about what someone is going through. By apologizing or showing compassion you show that you understand the person’s frustration. You then offer the floor for how you can assist that person before suggesting the solutions.