Listening is supposed to be a pretty simple and straightforward process. However, the burgeoning stress level and overwhelming challenges of both personal and professional life have made us lose patience. Even though we are inherently good listeners, we tend to turn away from ourselves in the rush, which hurts our communication to a great extent.
Nobody knows or would agree how bad they are at listening because it’s an unconscious approach. However, if you pay real attention to yourself while you’re in a conversation and evaluate your approach against each of the following traits, you’re going to cringe at how much room there’s left for improvement.
So, here’s how to tell if you’re a lousy listener.
Making an abrupt judgement in the middle of conversation is the first sign of a lousy listener. They judge more quickly, which is often based on personal biases or lack of interest in listening.
This, as a result ceases the possible connection and the leaves the speaker in a state of self-pity and isolation.
The fact is, at some point or the other, we all go through something that upsets us from time to time and eventually we look for a vent. But if the person turns out to be a bad listener who validates our faults, instead of empathizing, we tend to regret more about the conversation itself.
You Trivialize Their Issues
If you are a bad listener, you don’t realize that different persons are sensitive to different things. And you nullify their sentiments by making statements like,
“Take it easy, it’s not that bad.”
“You are taking it otherwise, it was just a joke.”
Effective listening begins with emotional intelligence, where you have to read the emotions or feel sensitiveness of the speaker, in order to have a better understanding.
You Discount Their Feelings
Every speaker wants to get heard. So they look for someone who they can trust upon with their emotions and feelings.
But if you tell them there are people who are less fortunate than them, which is usually true, they are more likely to feel disregarded, than being able to appreciate the statement at that particular moment.
Sometimes the speaker already knows they are fortunate, but in the pretext of negative emotions, they just want to deny it for the time being. All they want is to get heard. And it’s okay, because they are entitled to their emotions, be it positive or negative. Negative emotions like anger and anxiety are normal to a certain degree. But they are ought to release.
You Offer Unsolicited Advice Way too Early
Giving unsolicited advice is one of the most awful habits of bad listeners, as if they know the best of everything. This is an annoying way of responding to speakers.
When they are speaking, they just want to be heard. They don’t want you to fix anything, but to make sure that you understand the way they feel inside.
And they will clearly say it, in case they need advice.
They say, silence is an affirmative answer. But the situation would be different. It doesn’t apply to one and all.
Talking to someone who offers blank reactions can be frustrating. The speaker needs someone to validate their emotion with warm and empathizing response. In such a situation, silence can disappoint the speaker and create a disconnection between them.
Listening effectively is a significant part of your personality grooming process. It’s a skill that is going to positively influence how success in both your personal and professional life. So, it’s never too late to evaluate your listening skills and improve them to success in life.