1. Listen attentively
Most of us listen to our past experiences and not the fact. For example, if a person calls his computer mouse an elephant then you’d feel awkward.
It is so because in our reality, a pointer device used with computer is a mouse, not an elephant. Our past experience has created that reality which is causing us feeling awkward.
It could be an elephant in the context that person wants to convey, isn’t it?
To listen effectively, we should seek first to understand what other person is saying without applying any past experience.
If we do so, we’ll get the context and understand what other person is communicating.
2. Presume ownership
You’ve listen to what other person had to say. Now, you need to presume ownership for the actions you intend to take.
In order to communicate effectively, you need to actively choose your response. Presuming ownership will help you choose your response.
3. Note your concerns and non-understanding
You’ve listen to what other person had to say, you’ve presumed ownership, now what?
You need to note down your concerns and non-understanding.
When you take things out of your head, you’ll get a very different perspective.
4. Ask questions and seek answers
Now, you’ve your list of concerns ready, you’re ready to ask questions. Asking questions is the most powerful tool to get required clarity about the matter. Don’t forget to ask specific questions to get specific answers.
So, you’ve got specific answers and you’ve fair understanding of the fact. Next is to convey what exactly you’ve understood. When you’ve understood what other person has to convey, the communication is effective.
To summarize, when you listen attentively, presume ownership, take your concerns out of your head, ask specific questions to seek specific answers and acknowledge what you’ve understood, your communication becomes effective.