Listening with your eyes as well as your ears is so important. Whether you’re the boss or the employee, the parent or the spouse, you’d better be a good listener, but how do you do it? To really understand, listen with your eyes.
Remember what you’ve learned about active listening? You make eye contact, nod, and interject an occasional Uh-Huh to show someone that you’re engaged in her conversation. You might even paraphrase what he said back to him. Those things demonstrate that you’re listening, but are you, really? Are you really understanding?
Let me give you a hint. Your ears don’t even have a major role in listening. Listen with your eyes. This will level-up your people skills and your ability to work with others.
Your ears don’t even have a major role. Listen with your eyes.
Studies show that a mere 7% of the message comes through spoken words. 38% comes through the tone of the voice, and a whopping 58% is displayed in the body language! That’s an eye-opening guide to listening – it’s done more with the eyes than the ears. Watch the posture, movement, and expression to really “hear” what is being said.
Listen well, and notice more of what’s being communicated than what the words reveal:
- What mood does posture or bearing convey?
- Is his expression pasted on? Or is it fully engaged?
- Do her gestures signify tension or relaxation?
- Is the speaker talking down to you, or above you?
- Any observations about the volume or speed of the speech?
- Are the tone and words congruent, or is there an element of sarcasm?
Learn to listen with your eyes as well as your ears. Take in the whole of the communicated message, because you’ll have a deeper understanding of those around you. You haven’t peaked yet!
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