After going on a run on Hillcrest Open Space Preserve, you probably feel exhausted. People with hearing loss also experience this feeling after carrying on a long conversation since they have to strain to follow along. Experts refer to this phenomenon as listening fatigue. To combat listening fatigue, try these six active listening techniques.
1. Sit or Stand Face-to-Face
It’s important to face your conversation partner, not just so that you can hear better, but also so you can better follow visual cues like lipreading, facial expressions and gestures. Try not to have conversations when walking side-by-side or, even worse, from another room.
2. Put Your Best Ear Forward
For most people, their hearing ability isn’t exactly the same in both ears. If you know that one of your ears hears better than the other, turn your head so that this ear is pointed toward your conversation partner.
3. Move Closer
While it’s important to respect people’s personal space, you should move closer to the speaker if you feel like it would help you hear them better. The ideal distance between conversation partners is three to five feet. If you’re worried that you’re too close for comfort, you can always ask them.
4. Concentrate on the Conversation
It’s easy to get distracted during conversations. However, you should really make an effort to follow along with what is said without spacing out or turning your attention elsewhere. It’s hard to follow along with the topic when you’re missing part of the information.
5. Ask Questions
Conversations go both ways. To be engaged, it’s important to ask questions and make comments. If you feel like you’ve missed something or you might have misheard information, ask for clarification. It’s better to ask specific questions than simply say “I didn’t follow that” or “I didn’t hear you.”
6. Advocate for Yourself
Nobody knows what you need to communicate better than you. If there’s something someone can do so that you can hear better, like speak up or rephrase something, ask! Chances are, your conversation partner will be more than happy to accommodate your needs.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call Decibel Hearing Services today.