If you have hearing loss, you probably have experienced what audiologists refer to as listening fatigue. Unlike fatigue from hiking Lliff Commons Trail, listening fatigue refers to the exhaustion one feels after being in situations that require prolonged listening. In order to get the most out of interactions and prevent listening fatigue, you should try these seven active listening techniques.
1. Stand Directly in Front of Your Conversation Partner
If you sit or stand directly in front of the person you’re talking to, you’ll be able to hear them better. You’ll also have access to visual cues, including gestures, facial expressions and lipreading. This isn’t possible if you’re talking to someone from another room or with your back turned.
2. Turn Your Good Ear Toward the Speaker
If one of your ears has more hearing ability than the other, be sure to turn your head so that that ear is facing them.
3. Move Closer, if Necessary
While it’s important to respect people’s personal space, especially during COVID, you should move closer to the person you’re conversing with if the distance between you is causing trouble with communication. You can always ask the person if you’re standing too close for their comfort.
4. Concentrate on What the Speaker Is Saying
It’s natural for your mind to wander during conversations, even if you care a lot about what the other person is saying. However, you should make an effort to focus on their words and what they’re trying to convey.
5. Don’t Fake Understanding
If you didn’t catch what someone said or feel as though you misunderstood them, it’s important to communicate this. You can ask them to rephrase or speak up if necessary. Be specific about when you stopped understanding rather than just saying “I didn’t hear” or “I didn’t understand.”
6. Repeat Back What You Heard
Try to repeat back what you heard to check for understanding. This way the person will know you were paying attention and can correct any information you didn’t catch correctly.
7. Advocate for Yourself
If there’s anything you need from your conversation partner in order to better hear or understand them, be sure to communicate. They’ll be more than happy to accommodate you once they know what would be helpful.
For more communication tips or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Topeka ENT today.