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Student skills: active listening

At university, but also in your future professional environment, you’ll have to listen to other people to learn, succeed and maintain a good relationship with individuals around you.

According to research, most of the times people are not listening carefully, as they only remember between 25% and 50% of what they hear. However, it’s fundamental that individuals improve and enhance this skill to acquire all the benefits related to it. By listening, people can increase their productivity as well as their ability to persuade, negotiate and influence. Also, they will have less chance to create conflicts and misunderstandings with surrounding individuals.

A good way to improve your listening skills is to practice active listening. This skill can be learnt and developed with practice and patience, as it takes time to acquire. Active listening consists of focusing on what is being said instead of passively hear the message of the speaker. This way, you’re aware of the whole message that is being communicated.

It has been proved that enhancing active listening skills is beneficial for individuals both inside and outside the classroom. When you’re listening actively, it’s vital you focus on what the speaker says as well as their body language, without being distracted by any attention-grabber so you can fully understand the content of the message. In addition, you as an active listener will be part of the communication process and can judge a specific topic according to your knowledge. This communication process will permit you to enhance your critical skills along with clarifying difficult concepts.

Furthermore, through active listening, you’ll increase your network and meet new people. By asking clarifications to the speaker you’ll be able to understand more about them and develop interesting conversations and friendships.

There are different ways you can develop active listening. Firstly, it’s important you’re attentive and pay attention to the speaker and their message. Keeping eye contact with the speaker and consider their body language are good ways to keep yourself engaged with the conversation. Secondly, don’t interfere but listen carefully as the meaning of the whole content might suddenly change. Thirdly, ask questions to keep the two-way conversation active; by asking open-end questions you’ll be able to create a fluent conversation. Finally, browse the net to find interviews or videos explaining the concept of active listening. You’ll be able to find useful resources that will help you enhance this precious soft skill.

During your university year,  it’s crucial you focus on developing your active listening skill as it’s fundamental for your studies as well as your future career. Above are some tips to develop this unique, useful interpersonal skill.

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