Active Listening: A How To Guide
A major key to improving your communication skills is thru active listening. Therefore, knowing how to do it is crucial.
I often say that it is the listener who determines likability & the flow of the conversation.
If you are someone who is overly eager to speak, then this guide is for you.
I’ve met plenty of people in my life & I can tell you one compelling insight.
‘What is that?’
The best listeners are the best speakers.
Why you ask?
It’s because they are very precise with their wording & have no wasted movements.
If you want to unlock your charisma, then learning how to leverage your active listening is the key.
In this article, I am going to break down a successful interaction, types of listening & how to execute!
Social skills are a weapon, so let’s add active listening to your toolbox.
How a Successful Social Interaction Works
Humans love talking about themselves.
When humans talk about themselves, they often feel the same pleasure as sex.
But this presents a boatload of problems.
Well, when everyone loves talking about themselves so much, that’s when social disruptions begin!
No one wants to learn how to level up their active listening because they’re too busy wanting to yap away.
But this is good for you.
Well, abundant is rarely valuable. But scarce is when the demand RISES.
With all the people wanting to talk all the time, listeners are a prized possession!
There is a huge supply of talkers, but listeners are the ones in demand.
An ideal social interaction consists of a balance between talking and listening.
- If you talk too much, then you spark the other person’s ego.
- If you listen too much, then you get treated like a wallflower.
We are going for the middle zone.
The 2 Types of Listening: Sponge vs Trampoline
There are 2 kinds of listening styles out there.
One is the sponge technique & the other is the trampoline technique.
Sponge is when you absorb the other person’s points.
They talk & you listen.
This type of listening typically has a lot of head nods & ‘mhms.’
Sponge listening is perfect for being a shoulder to cry on.
When someone is going thru a tough time, aim to adopt sponge listening.
Trampoline listening is when you get the other person’s points & amplify them.
You amplify their points by:
- Asking them to expand their points.
- Ask relevant questions.
Trampoline listening = Active listening.
This sort of listening is what I recommend for most social interactions.
When you are networking, talking to a friend or family member, aim for trampoline rather than sponge.
You will be more memorable & build a stronger connection.
How to Level up Active Listening
Active listening comes down to heart & mind, then ears.
Counterintuitive, I know. I’m sure you thought I was going to say lead with the ears, but nah.
- The heart is first.
This is very difficult for people to do because they enter an interaction with the ego.
When you enter an interaction with the ego, then you have the tendency to yap away & ramble.
When you enter the interaction with the heart, you make the interaction about the other person.
Remember earlier how I said humans LOVE talking about themselves?
Well, give them that!
If you give them the spotlight, then they will try to give something of value back to you.
They will try to listen.
- The second element of active listening is mind.
A big part of a social interaction is staying present.
If you lose track of reality & begin going off to la-la land, then that’s fine.
Just make yourself aware & come back to the present moment.
A present mind has you enjoying the social experience rather than drifting away from it.
- The final element is the ears.
If you got your mind & heart in unison, then listening becomes a byproduct.
When you level up your active listening, you realize:
Listening is not something you do, it’s something that you embody.
When you lead with compassion & remain present, you have no choice but to listen.
You end up asking someone to expand on a point you need clarification on.
You’ll contribute when you find the time is right.
And finally, you’ll ask questions that are relevant to the conversation.
This allows you to not make the interaction about yourself & start being a diamond in the rough.
Active Listening = Conscious to Subconscious Transformation
So here’s the deal.
If you’re like most of the population, then you have been raised as a predominant talker.
You have neural pathways set for talking a lot.
Well, in this case, you are going to have to take an active approach to begin active listening.
At first, it is going to feel like work.
You will feel like there are a lot of moving variables.
‘Armani, are you telling me I have to be compassionate, remain present, ask questions, contribute, listen and all that???’
At first, it seems like mission impossible.
When you are talking, you just focus on 1 variable.
But active listening is a whole different ball game.
Picture it as upgrading from riding a bike to driving a car.
When you were first driving a car, pretty sure you felt like you were having to do a lot at once, right?
Well, same with active listening.
But continue on anyways.
Eventually, the variables will come in unison.
At first, driving in the park felt difficult as fuck, but nowadays, you can drive on the highway without even thinking!
When the unison of variables happens with active listening, you will begin to flow MUCH better in social interactions.
That’s when you will do the act on autopilot.
How to Become an Active Listening Superstar!
This is a lifestyle champ.
You aren’t just trying to be an active listener interaction by interaction…
Rather, make it a life philosophy.
It helps you a ton in the grand scheme of things.
‘You mean active listening extends PAST social interactions?’
You end up raising your awareness as a whole.
Life is a game of leveling up your awareness.
And when you are able to recondition your mind to active listen, you learn like a beast & develop more perspective.
An excellent way to hack your maturity.
Now you know how to level up your active listening skills, so be sure to execute!
Charisma & a memorable personality awaits.
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