Listening Exercises to Help Improve Communication Skills

Hearing loss can have a big impact on your daily life. If you are one of the estimated 48 million Americans with difficulty hearing, you’re probably aware of the impact it can have on your life.

You’ve likely had to make adaptations to accommodate your hearing loss. You may even find yourself withdrawing from social situations. Finding a hearing solution that fits your lifestyle is the first step towards improved quality of life.

There are, however, other ways that you can maximize your hearing and communication. Practicing listening exercises can help improve your communication skills.

Listening Exercises to Help Improve Communication Skills

To help keep your hearing at its best, below are some simple exercises for your hearing.

These daily activities don’t require any special equipment other than a willing partner!

  • Simulate noisy environments at home to give yourself practice managing noisy social settings. Simply turn on the television and/or some music at an average volume and focus on having a conversation in the same room. Tuning out background noise is a skill that develops with practice.
  • With your eyes closed, ask your partner to move quietly around the room or surrounding areas and then make a noise. The challenge is to see if you can locate where the sound is coming from, and identify how far away it is.

If you don’t have a partner readily available, try these activities instead.

  1. Practice mediation; it’s very beneficial for your hearing to build your mind’s ability to concentrate. Be patient with yourself, try sitting quietly with eyes closed and just paying attention to your breathing. If you’re unsure, try a guided meditation. Gradually build up the amount of time you meditate for.
  2. A similar activity is isolating the sounds you can hear around you. Once again it involves sitting quietly with eyes closed and drawing your attention to what you can hear.  Once you have heard all the sounds, try to isolate one to focus on for a short period before moving onto another.
  3. Certain Yoga poses (tree, lotus, cobra and triangle) are known to have some hearing health benefits because they boost circulation to the ears and brain.

Communication Tips

In addition to exercises for your hearing, these communication tips can help your listening experience.

  1. Face the Person You Are Speaking To:. Facing each other while talking helps communication in several ways. Not only can you see each other’s mouths, you can also interpret cues and signals to help understand speech and meaning. In addition, it helps you focus on what is being said.
  2. Be Aware of Body Language:. If you’re noticing a confused look or hesitation, chances are your listener may not have understood what you’re saying. Pay attention to clues or behaviors that may indicate any confusion or difficulty understanding and follow-up with concise clarity.
  3. Set the Right Environment: You should set yourself up for successful communication by using a quet, well lit space to hold your conversations. Reduce background sounds or choose an area furthest away from them. You may not realize how much a fan, air conditioner, or heater can interfere with hearing.
  4. Wait Until Your Meal is Finished:  If you are conversing while eating, wait until your meal is done before having a serious conversation. Even if you aren’t eating, keep your mouth unobstructed: don’t chew gum or keep your hand in front of your mouth.
  5. Speak Slowly and Clearly: This can be easier said than done, especially if communication becomes frustrating. Never yell, that isn’t efficient communication for anyone. It’s also important not to over exaggerate your words or speak too slowly, this can frustrate the person who is having trouble hearing. If your listener hasn’t understood your message, try to find another way to phrase what you’re saying instead.
  6. Put Your Best Ear Forward:. If you know that you can hear better in one ear over the other, position yourself with your best ear towards the person you are talking with.
  7. Keep Conversations Small: When more than one person is trying to talk, it can be a strain for someone who has hearing loss to hear anything. Make sure only one person is speaking at a time.
  8. Repeat and Rephrase:. If you need to communicate important, specific details, such as times, address, or a phone number, confirm the specifics. Perhaps repeat it, or write it down. If someone is having difficulty hearing a particular word, it could be hearing loss affecting certain voices or tones. Rephrase or change the words to help the communication flow.

Trust the Experts at Anderson Audiology

Do you have further questions about your hearing? Our team would be happy to help. Contact the hearing healthcare specialists at Anderson Audiology today on 702-997-2964. Alternatively, click here to request an appointment online.

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