How to Improve Communication and Cognitive Skills for Better Listening
When it comes to hearing and listening equally important as the healthy ear are communication and cognitive skills, which we can train and improve throughout our adult lifetime.
Improving communication skills through better listening makes sense when you consider we have one mouth but two ears and we should use them within that proportion. The examples below are some tips listeners and speakers can use for enhanced communication.
Face to Face
Facing someone you are communicating with allows them to both hear your voice effectively and read your lips. If you are listening to someone, turn to make sure you can see their mouth and hands clearly.
Corners are Useful
If you are addressing a room of people, standing in the corner of the room facing the entire crowd will reflect your voice out to the audience. Likewise, when listening to a speech or presentation, positioning yourself at the edge of a group or by a hard wall/ surface so that more sound is reflected to your ears. This also reduces the amount of distracting noise from behind and around you
Keep the Noise Down
Eliminating or taking steps to reduce levels of background noise is a great way of enhancing your communication skills with little distraction from what you are saying. This can be hard to achieve in practice, but it is effective. If you own the space, you can invest in special yet simple echo-reducing acoustic panels.
If the scenario is different and you are a visiting speaker, you can position yourself by curtains or soft furnishings to reduce reflected noise. The best solution, if possible, is to find a quieter room, with less noise.
Honesty and accuracy are fundamental to good communication. It is therefore important to give yourself the best communication conditions you can. If you are struggling to hear or are in an environment that you know is going to be challenging, make sure you tell those that need to know – you are unlikely to be alone, after all. In this way, you have prepared the way to take other steps to enhance communication or to be honest should you miss the odd word.
Memory Games and Other Tips
There are many tips, techniques and activities available to improve one’s long-term and short-term memory and cognition. As human beings, it goes without saying how cognitive and mental health are important to our quality of life, including improving listening skills.
Some memory and cognition improving strategies include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Feeding your brain with healthy, saturated fats such as coconut oil
- Social interaction and maintaining an active social life
- Staying active and keeping busy
- Being curious and engaging with life
- Sudhoku, crosswords, cards, chess and other ”thinking” games
- Excercises in moderation
- Meditation and mindfulness
- The list goes on
How to Improve Communication with LACE?
There are also practical methods to improve communication with the use of software; it is never too late to train your brain! You can improve your and your patients communication skills through LACE support methods; they are simple to learn and even simpler to benefit from. LACE is intended for adult patients, with or without hearing loss, who have difficulty understanding speech in challenging listening environments. But benefits go both to the patients as well as their familiy and friends.
Utilising the LACE (Listening and Communications Enhancement) programme means your patients will improve their hearing and listening skills; this will help them begin to improve communication generally. LACE is therefore part of range of communication enhancement techniques, which can make a big difference to your patients’ social, work and family life. LACE can support of all the above – or similar – activities that may help improve long and short term memory or overall mental condition.