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How to be a good listener

How to be a good listener. ‘Talk To Us’, the Samaritans annual awareness-raising campaign to encourage us to become better listeners.

Why should I listen more?

Saying less and hearing more has huge benefits that most people miss. The most important benefit being that the person who’s doing the talking will feel understood and cared about.

Most people wish that they were listened to more. By listening rather than talking, you are giving something valuable to the person speaking. Especially if you really are taking in what that person is saying. The speaker will feel understood and validated.

Listening is therefore a powerful relationship building tool.

How can I be a good listener?
It’s simple… SHUSH.

SHUSH is an acronym for simple active listening:

S: Show you care – Focus on the other person, make eye contact, put away anything that might distract you.
Have Patience – It may take time and several attempts before a person opens up.
Use Open Questions – Use open questions that need more than a yes/no answer, and follow up with further questions such as ‘Can you explain?’
Say it back – Check you’ve understood, but don’t interrupt or offer a solution.
 Have Courage.

Don’t be put off by a negative response and don’t feel you have to fill a silence.
By following the above 5 steps in all aspects of your life you will begin to see your friendships and relationships, both and home and at work, develop and improve.

Will you start listening more today?

If you have any worries of your own which you would like to talk about Samaritans hotline is open 24/7. For daily worries read our blog post ‘Dealing with Worry‘ or ‘Worries at Work and how to Face them‘.

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