• Kait Towner, LMHC, RPT, CCPT, IMH-E

5 Ways To Be A Better Listener

Listening is a skill that can be difficult for so many children (and adults!) However, there are easy strategies that you can implement today to be a better listener yourself in addition to encouraging your child to improve their listening skills. Today's blog identifies five ways for you to be a better listener.

1. Put down the devices

One of the largest barriers to effective listening is a device being in the middle of your conversation. Even just having a phone visible can hinder the conversation. If you truly want to be a better listener, do yourself a favor and put your device out of sight so it is out of everyone’s mind.

2. Make eye contact

As simple as it seems, making eye contact is another great way to improve your listening skills. Do your best not to look at a television, out the window, or at a device while you are having a conversation. Making eye contact communicates non verbally that you care and are fully listening to what the other person is communicating.

3. Be present

I am the first to admit that there are times that my body language says “I’m listening” when my brain is on a completely different planet! Do your best to notice when your thoughts and bring your thoughts back when they are straying from the topic of conversation.

4. Don’t just hear, listen

Focus and think about the topic of conversation. It’s easy to be distracted by extraneous stimuli, like a dog barking or music playing. However, conversations are so much more rich and fulfilling when you are truly listening to someone versus just hearing the sound of their voice.

5. Use your body language

Our body language can communicate so much, including if we are actually listening. In order to communicate that you are listening, turn your body to your conversational partner with your arms uncrossed. This body language conveys that you are present, focused, and interested in what the individual speaking has to say.

Ready to have someone to listen to you and your child? Contact me today at (585) 206-1506 or to schedule a FREE phone consultation.

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