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tips for better listening

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Tips for better listening:

1) Make eye contact.
How do you feel when people arenít looking at you when youíre speaking?
Of course, you will think they are not interested.
So, itís most important to look at other people when they speak.

2) Show body language.
Itís very good to nod* your head, and use your face to show feelings.
Smile when itís funny or interesting, look serious when itís sad or serious, frown* if you donít understand, and so on.

3) Donít do any other things when youíre listening.
Donít look at your watch, play with your pen, move your papers, and so on. This means youíre not listening and not interested.

4) Ask questions.
Itís very important to ask questions from time to time*. This will make you understand better, and also show that you are listening and interested.

5) Repeat things sometimes in your own words.
For example: ďSo, you meanÖĒ and ďAre you saying thatÖ?Ē
This will make sure you understand, and that you have heard everything.

6) Donít interrupt*.
Always let somebody finish speaking. If they are not finished yet, it is rude to say something yourself.
You can show you want to say something by using your body language. Then, it is good to use nr.4 and nr.5.

7) Donít talk too much yourself.
When you are talking, you canít listen at the same time. So, sometimes you want to talk about what YOU think, but try not to do this too often.
Try to feel comfortable when you listen and stay calm.

8) Try to make the conversation go smoothly* and easy.
This means sometimes you are speaking, and sometimes the other person is speaking. Then itís good to try to make an easy change.
Timing* and using nr.2 are useful*.

* nod: to move your head a little, like saying Ďyesí.
* frown: the look on your face when you donít understand, like when you are eating a lemon.
* from time to time: sometimes.
* interrupt: when something is busy, you stop it.
* smoothly: soft feeling, not hard. (opposite of rough)
* timing: to do something at the right time. (Ďbad timingí is to do something at the wrong time)
* useful: it is good to use. (opposite of useless)

Note: I've adapted a text from a management textbook to use for my elementary and basic classes in China, hence the footnotes. It's interesting stuff and pretty useful. Just put it in a word-document and talk about it.
Roel Cruijff (Da Jiang)
Yangshuo, China

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