Have you ever been in a middle of an interview or even in a conversation in that matter, when the person you are talking to just gets up and walks away? Or fiddles in the chair? Or even looks everywhere but at you? How does this make you feel? Most people feel hurt. The listener acts as though he or she is absolutely not interest in what the speaker has to say or already said. And yet, when it is their turn to talk, they expect, if not demand, attention.
Have you ever been in a heated conversation and realize that your partner has no idea what you have been saying? It could very well be the manner that you are delivering the argument or speech, or it may even be that your partner is a poor listener. Poor listening skills seem to be the majority and not the minority of fresh graduates. Since Malaysia is so used to being fast paced in all matters, we often forget how to slow down and just listen.
So how can one learn to be a good listener? Below are some common tips that can help poor listeners work wonders in all situations not only during interviews.
- Learn to listen by using lots of eye contact:
Let the speaker know that you are interested in what is being said
- Be slow to speak:
Sometimes, people speak to think out loud. Sometimes, all they really want is a shoulder to lean on and a willing ear to listen. By being slow to speak, you are allowing the speaker to work out or solve problems themselves. Also, one must think before he/she speaks
- Keep the secret:
People trust you with information because they believe that you will not gossip and spread slander. Keep their trust by keeping things private; between the two of you
- Be Attentive:
Learn to actively listen. Let the speaker know that you are actually listening, although you are not speaking, by saying things like, "yeah, hmmm, I know, that's true, okay, that makes sense," and so forth. This shows that you are in tune with what they are saying and also following what they are saying
- Show Gratitude:
Let the speaker know that you feel honored that they were able to open up to you. If nothing personal was said, than let the speaker know that you had a great time listening and that you learned a lot. In a society that forgets to show gratitude, a simple use of kind words, can make someone's day a little brighter. Showing kindness and appreciation will also help you with the interviewer
- Stay in Tune:
Do not simply disappear in the middle of any conversation because your mind wandered. Whether you actually get up and walk away or let your mind wander elsewhere, it is just being plain rude. If you find that your attention span is small, actively repeat what is being said to you as the speaker is speaking