5 Levels of Listening
Yes, you read it correct, there are different levels of listening. Of course, not every conversation requires the highest levels of listening, but many conversations would benefit from greater focus and listening skills. In fact, not only conversations but relationships also will improve if we listen the way it is. So, lets understand the different levels of listening.
Level 1: Safe to speak
The listener creates a very safe environment in which complex, difficult or emotional issues can be discussed. It is basically where listener creates a comfort zone.
Level 2: clear distractions
This level I learnt in my NLP training where trainer taught us that listener has to clear away the distractions like phone, laptop and gives focused attention on other person building appropriate rapport. This brings change in your own inner feelings and you become a better listener.
Level 3: understand the matter
The listener seeks to understand the matter of what the other person is saying. Here Listener is actually capturing ideas, thoughts and asking relevant questions and is trying to understand from the perspective of the person. Basically, at this level listener is creating the same kind of understanding as of the person.
Level 4: Eyes and Ears Listening
It is said that 80% of communication is nonverbal. So, in this level the listener observes the body language such as facial expressions, posture, perspiration, gestures, breathing pattern and other signs in body. Here, listening is happening non-verbally – by ears and eyes. This requires knowledge of rapport building.
Level 5: Clarity
The listener asks questions that may clarify assumptions the other person holds and it actually helps the person to see the situation in a new light.
One great quality of good listener is that he never high jacks’ conversation so that his conversation becomes the subject of the discussion.
Each of the level builds on the other; so next time if you feel you have missed listening effectively, remember that listening is an important element to be empathetic and to strengthen relations with others.
Be emotionally intelligent listener!