The benefits of listening


 

It is Mental Health Awareness month and we want to emphasise how little things can go a long way in making people feel better about themselves – we examine the importance of listening first up.

A friend in need

If you are more of a listener than a talker, you've probably been told on more than one occasion that you're a good friend.

When you take the time to listen you're giving the other person your full attention, which is often all that is needed. But there are other good reasons to stop and listen more.

Are you feeling down?

Pop in your ear phones during your lunch break and go for a walk. Researchers found that listening to music can lift your mood.

The best type of music to listen to? One study found those who listened to tunes that were ‘beautiful but sad’ noticed the greatest improvement in their mood.

Need to focus?

If you're studying after work it can be very hard to concentrate. Listening to the sound of birds singing could be the answer according to a study. It works because birdsong has been shown to relax you physically and stimulate your brain at the same time. Exactly the state of mind you need to be into focus.

You can try this out with an app called study available free from the App Store and Google play.

Workplace stress?

Listening can play an important role in helping you defuse tension at work. Most people appreciate having supportive and understanding colleagues. Whether you're a manager or a team member others will find great value in having a person around to actively listens and shows understanding.

Listening is a skill – here are some pointers.

  • Pay attention – face the speaker and give them your undivided attention. Don't look at your Watch phone or other people.
  • Be attentive but relaxed - it's okay to look around from time to time when you're while you're listening. Too much I contact can be unnerving for the person doing the talking.
  • Keep an open mind – listen without judgement or jumping to conclusions.
  • Don't interrupt or offer solutions – if someone wants advice they last for it.
  • Give regular feedback – nodding, smiling or using words and sounds of encouragement will make the talker aware that you're actively listening

‘When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen’ – Ernest Hemingway

Remember, Mayfair cares