When you are sitting in a restaurant, there are many people talking, the waiters taking orders, vending machines being operated, or the cooks cooking in the open kitchen. You can hear all these sounds, because you have ears which are meant to hear the sounds.
But if you happen to overhear your neighbor's conversation, you find out he/she is talking about their day at office! This is called active listening, where you not only hear a certain piece of information but concentrate on it, analyze and try to understand what was heard.
Listening is a very important activity for our existence, as it is one of the main factors in communication, which all of us need, and should be inculcated within us at a raw age. This ability to understand, evaluate, and interpret the words could be used to reduce conflicts and improve relationships, to teach others what you understand.
Activities to Improve Active Listening Skills
When a child is sent to school, the first activity which is carried out is introducing yourself! When a class of little children tell their name out loud and clear, it is called the most effective activity, as the other kids start memorizing it and gradually associate the person with his/her name.
Other activities are learning alphabets and numbers, shapes and colors, words and sentences, which are already a part of a study curriculum. By definition, listening means hearing and analyzing what is heard.
So, to make the art of listening more efficient, developing a routine of listening to a recording or one's own vocal sounds can be adopted as an effective training exercise. This exercise evidently has been fruitfully applicable for every one.
It is also one of the simplest and most effective active listening exercises one can go through for better listening skills. Visit the beach, join a music class, sit in a park, go to a lake or river side or a farmland, visit a construction site, or any other place where you would get to hear a variety of natural sounds.
The sounds of flowing water or bubbles, musical instruments, strong winds or breeze, insects and animals, children playing and swinging, bulldozers rolling tar on the road or drilling machines demolishing the road, etc., are all the unique sounds which are present around us, but all you need to do is listen.
Many times, when we are trying to memorize somebody's phone number, we think they are easy to remember for the next 2 minutes, but forget them right after 1 minute! Well, that's because we follow the wrong way of memorizing.
Like alphabets, numbers are also learned or memorized the best when they are spoken loudly, so we could hear them and store them in our brain. Therefore, try to read out all the phone numbers in your contacts list loudly and clearly to yourself or the other person.
Through this activity, the precise numbers are heard by us, and because we concentrate and understand the order, it is easy to memorize them. Once you have learned these with respect to their owners, you will remember all the phone numbers for the exact owner automatically.
Games and Activities
Another activity for college students, could be playing some knowledgeable games with those students who need to learn active listening skills. These games could be group activities or could be played individually.
Developing these senses and sharpening them is very essential for the overall development of any individual.