How can i be a good listener? | Coursera Community
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How can i be a good listener?

  • 16 August 2019
  • 15 replies
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How can i be a good listener?

15 replies

Hello! Good topic for discussion! Your topic calls this wonderful saying to mind.

We have 2 ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.
-Epictetus


It's often tempting to prepare a reply while listening instead of completely concentrating on what the interlocutor is saying. I think it's important to break oneself of this habit. In fact, listening is not enough. We need to listen attentively to be able to grasp the message, to begin with.

What are your tips and thoughts, everyone?

(It was edited to insert the word "calls".)
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🤓20 years running and My annual resolution remains "to listen more, and talk less!" Active Listening WILL remain one of my lifetime goals. I am such a talker, however, i am soooooo curious and interested in what others have to so. I wish i did not get so excited in conversations and end up talking, talking, and talking...my brain just brings sooooo much information, wonder, and ideas about MOST subject matter ... i LOVE listening, but i must confess, i am not very good at it. So thanks for the reminder and I am open for any tips that i can use to become a better listener and keep my ONE mouth Shut for most of the conversation!
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Hi guys,

It’s been a while. Thank you for the topic @Semakula I also need tips to be great at listening.

Thank you for your awesome tips @Maryam. 👏🏻💐

@Divine, your writeup left me rolling on the floor 🤣🤣🤣 that’s my twin from another mama. 🤗 I guess we share the recurring “New Year’s Resolution”. It’s tiring but I guess with self-discipline, we’ll get there. 🙏🏻

More tips guys. Keep it coming.
Hi @Terry,

Long time no see. How are you doing? 🙂

I think the role of the speaker, too, should be taken into account. A good speaker is more likely to get the listener to listen actively. A teacher talking in a monotone voice, for instance, cannot effectively engage students. Students could end up falling asleep secretly in class: Their eyes can remain open whereas their brains are actually taking a sweet nap! 😄
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Hi @Maryam,

Yeah, I’m good. 😊 Hope you’re good too?
Being a good speaker requires a great deal of skill. Like you rightly said, using the teacher as an example, I feel being a great listener is a lot easier than being a great speaker/orator. I could be wrong but that’s what I think.

Back then in high school, we had some subjects taught by some “lullaby” teachers. Once they step into a noisy class, before you know what’s happening, the class becomes as quiet as a graveyard 😴 Such classes are usually not interactive. I think it boils down to the saying that: “you become good at what you do when you enjoy it”.

What do you think?
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Try to find patterns in what the person is saying. Take mental notes of what they are saying, or take actual notes (if you can do so). It's also essential to ask the right guiding questions that allow the speaker to expand on their topic and it allows you to figure out what they are REALLY trying to say. Try to figure out patterns in their thought process and relate them to how these thought patterns were manifested in what the person was trying to say. For example, alcoholics are prone to self-deception, and when talking about getting just one drink, they tend to ramble on about how it would be okay to do because they're recovering and that if you suppress yourself you'd end up pigging out or binging. the logic is sound but it is part of a pattern that would want to justify the behavior that got them in trouble. So listen to the patterns and figure them out. This is too much to do in one setting but in general, try to calm down when listening to the person, take deep breaths and keep yourself engaged by either asking questions or taking notes.
Hi @Maryam,

Yeah, I’m good. 😊 Hope you’re good too?


Fine, thanks, @Terry.

Being a good speaker requires a great deal of skill. Like you rightly said, using the teacher as an example, I feel being a great listener is a lot easier than being a great speaker/orator. I could be wrong but that’s what I think.


Yes, some may find "being a great speaker" a more complicated task. This is a good topic for discussion. (You can start a thread about it if you're interested.)


Back then in high school, we had some subjects taught by some “lullaby” teachers. Once they step into a noisy class, before you know what’s happening, the class becomes as quiet as a graveyard 😴 Such classes are usually not interactive. I think it boils down to the saying that: “you become good at what you do when you enjoy it”.

What do you think?


I like how you analogized it to lullabies and lullabying the listener/student. 😁
I agree that it's important to enjoy what we do. Sometimes we have to do things that we may not like. Some students may not enjoy math classes. But, they have to pass it to be able to graduate. They need to motivate themselves to listen actively one way or another, even when their teacher's method of teaching is not engaging. I believe self-motivation can make things easier.
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You are welcome, @Maryam. And thank you for the compliments ☺️

Yes, I totally agree with you that self-motivation makes things a lot easier.

Starting a thread? That’s fantastic! I’ll do it. 😁💐

Happy New Month everyone! 💕🌹
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@Maryam,

I just started the thread on how to be a good speaker, here's the link:
https://coursera.community/networking-social-discussion-5/what-makes-a-good-speaker-5764

Thank you for giving me the idea to start the thread. I hardly start up threads, the reason is what I do not know. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely yes!😍 and I earned myself a Networking Badge. Yippie!!!
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Great question. I've asked this myself. To be a good listener, I think you need these skills (it's definitely an art): 1) Be nonjudgmental and avoid the need to give advice 2) Empathize 3) Look at the person in the eye and show that you want to listen.

It takes practice, for sure. It's hard to find a friend who can really listen. Most people end up talking about themselves instead of fully listening to the person. I do that too, sometimes. But I've always been a good listener (I've been told) because I act like a fly on the wall. I just intently listen and refrain from giving advice unless asked to do so.

I hope there were more listeners in this world. It will make the world a better place!
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Great question. I've asked this myself. To be a good listener, I think you need these skills (it's definitely an art): 1) Be nonjudgmental and avoid the need to give advice 2) Empathize 3) Look at the person in the eye and show that you want to listen.

It takes practice, for sure. It's hard to find a friend who can really listen. Most people end up talking about themselves instead of fully listening to the person. I do that too, sometimes. But I've always been a good listener (I've been told) because I act like a fly on the wall. I just intently listen and refrain from giving advice unless asked to do so.

I hope there were more listeners in this world. It will make the world a better place!



That's a great advice. Thanks
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An easy technique to listen more is to wait for 3-5 seconds (ideally) after someone has spoken before saying anything. The idea beyond this is to listen with a mindset "I want to understand what the person communicates" rather than preparing our own answer (and know what we would say even before the person has finished speaking). Some times listening means... not saying anything.
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As a public speaker, I know that listening is one of the most important skills in communication. Surprisingly, it's a skill that can or should also be learnt. Apart from what others have suggested, one very important way of learning how to listen is to develop the attitude of a learner. Go into every conversation, even when you're the lead speaker, with the mindset that you want to learn. A person with the drive to learn listens more than a person with the drive to teach. 

Then, be less defensive. We always want to speak when we feel there's a need to defend ourselves. 

The summary of this two is one thing: be vulnerable. Vulnerability takes away the need to impress. The less you want to impress, the more you want to listen.

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To be a good listener first we have to understand how to be a good speaker. As then only you will get to know about what the speaker feels when he/she wanted to get heard.

 

I hope this will work….

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Answer one question - how well do you speak? A person who owns the art of dialogue thoroughly, who has become a master of communication. Only he is able to listen well and hear the other. To develop in the direction of the art of communication - this is recipe)

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