If you truly want to learn, you need to first listen.
But, what makes a great listener?
We all believe that we are good listeners. But when did anyone ever teach you the art of listening? Years ago in my doctoral program, I was introduced to five essential skills present in all great listening. These components are:
Appreciative Listening – this is the ability to make the speaker feel that their communication is welcomed and appreciated. You are able to listen in a relaxed, easy-going manner.
Empathic Listening – you are able to empathize without judging and offer a supportive listening presence. You can identify the emotions of the speaker.
Comprehensive Listening – this is the ability to grasp all the details of the communication and organize them. This skill includes the ability to understand the relationships amongst the ideas presented.
Discerning Listening – this the ability to gather the complete picture and uncover the overall message in all its important dimensions.
Evaluative Listening – finally, the last component is the ability to assess the message’s content with the goal of determining what to do next. You as the listener have the freedom to accept or reject the message based on your personal beliefs or positions.
Master these five listening skill elements and not only will you be the fastest learner in every room, but you will simultaneously win friends and influence people.