In your professional and personal lives there is one indispensable personal improvement item you should constantly nurture, and that is Active Listening. Everything else is secondary. Improve Active Listening and you will have ample time and energy for improving other things.
Active Listening is spending conscious effort to listen to, understand and connect with the speaker.
There are plenty of free resources for Active Listening available on the Web, I will disclose a few at the end of this post.
I would now like to share my first hand experience and present benefits of Active Listening from a different angle, my own my personal experience.
The quality of communication you establish with others will encourage them to value you. By feeling you valued them they immediately return a value on you. The effects of such recognition will grow around you and soon include others into the same circle of connectedness.
Quality of Thinking
By genuinely focusing on the speaker’s point of view, you will avoid negative emotions that may come into your way. You may be under the influence of a toxic environment or your own prejudice. By focusing solely on the speaker, and looking at events from his perspective, will make you eliminate such distractions. Active Listening will save you time and energy, it will improve quality of your judgement, and allow you to understand facts better. It will also prevent you from entering into a wrong thought process that may needlessly increase your anxiety.
Probably the biggest advantage of all is health benefits. By focusing on Active Listening, your brain plasticity will flex more. Your brain will build and engrave paths that otherwise you would have left idle, you will probably become a smarter person with improved short memory. Being in a positive environment where people actively listen to and value each other, you will eliminate worries, your stress levels will be less, your energy level will increase, in general you will spend the day as a happy person.
I became aware of Active Speaking via a conversation with my colleague and Team Leader Chris Dorrington a few years ago. Thank you Chris! This talk was a turning point in my career. At the time I did not realise its power. But as I took it seriously and work on it I began to see its benefits. You need to be patient though. You will not see an overnight improvement. It needs relentless practice and monitoring your own performance. Good luck.
Active Listening, The University of Adelaide
Active Listening, Skills You Need