Toastmasters not only helps members develop speaking skills, but it also improves their listening. In fact, the Pathways learning experience has a Level 3 elective project focused on this important skill—“Active Listening.” September 15 is International Day of Listening, and the perfect opportunity to review and implement a few of the tips from the “Active Listening” project:
- Give the speaker your full attention; remain relaxed and engaged.
- Respect the speaker’s point of view.
- Reserve judgment.
- Avoid interrupting.
- Notice the speaker’s comfort level and excitement.
- Give nonverbal cues to show your interest.
- Ask clarifying questions to ensure understanding.
Whether you’re having a conversation with a friend or listening to a fellow club member’s speech, keep these tips in mind. Nod to show understanding, avoid distractions (like your phone), and don’t think about your response while the other person is still speaking. Pause, sit back, and listen. It will improve your relationships and connections with others. For more on active listening and its benefits, read this article from the Toastmaster.
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