Whether it is romantic, family, or work related, good communication is the foundation of any solid relationship. In order to have good communication, one must not only be able to speak their opinions clearly, but also listen effectively to the thoughts and opinions of others.
Here are some tips to being a better listener.
Don't interrupt. Even if you think you know what they're trying to say, it's best to listen and wait until they finish speaking their part. By interrupting, you appear rude and uncaring, and you might miss a key point of their statement by cutting them off too soon. Often, the main point of a statement is not made until the very end, as people have a tendency to “lead up" to what they are trying to say. Be patient, and you may be surprised with how certain conversations turn out.
Ask questions to clarify what you haven't understood. Pretending to know what someone means might seem like the polite thing to do, but it will only lead to future problems when it becomes obvious that you had no idea what they were trying to say at all. It's okay to ask questions. It will help you understand better and show the person speaking that you are listening and are trying to understand them, as well.
Pay attention to what they don't say. Pitch, tone, inflection, facial expressions, and posture can be very good clues as to why the person speaking is sharing with you. Sometimes this is the best way to know what is really being said.
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