Your negative feeling of “he/she is not listening to me” or “I guess I am not as important as his/her phone” might be transformed into a positive feeling of acceptance, acknowledgment, and belonging. When someone truly listens, he/she will commit full attention to you.
Listening with focused attention is one of the most generous ways that you can be there for another person. When most people listen, they are engaged in what can be considered “Level 1 Listening.” This is when most of the attention is still on yourself, and when what you hear is placed within your own context.
During conversations with others, take your focus off of your own thoughts and turn your attention to what the speaker is saying. Too often we are simply waiting for our turn to speak and voice our opinions so much so that we don’t hear anything the speaker has said. Listen to them with an open heart, try to identify how they are feeling or what they might need help or advice with.
The first active listening skill you can begin using right away in building good relationships is questioning. Asking questions by firing them away like an interrogator pounding his suspicious criminal is as effective as one-way communication. Questioning in active listening skills is more about the quality of the question. You are not an interrogator in your relationship so do not act like one.
Be open-minded when listening and focus on what your customer is telling you instead of just focusing on closing the sale. This allows you to develop a true interest in actually helping them and providing them with a solution.
People doing the 4th level of listening are the active listeners. They are empathetic people who see from the other person’s point of view. There is the message per se, but an active listener listens beyond that and tries to understand the other person. They ask relevant questions and give relevant feedback, but they find the right time to ask or give their opinion.
People falling in the category of the 1st level of listening are known as “non- listeners”. They primarily do not hear what the other person is trying to convey and do not make an effort to listen in the first place. These are self centered people who like to do all the talking and are rarely interested in others’ opinions or ideas.