Practice Active Listening
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who constantly checks her phone? So annoying. What about chatting with someone who’s always scanning the room for someone more important? Don’t be that person. Only have eyes for the person you’re conversing with and genuinely try to connect with him. Show you’re listening Give verbal and visual cues you’re tracking what they’re saying. Nodding, facial expressions, verbal affirmations like “yup” and “makes sense,” and follow-up questions let the person know you’re engaged.
As a listener, your job is to understand what the person is saying. But it’s easy to misunderstand because we process what we hear through our own filter of judgments, assumptions, and personal beliefs. That’s why reflecting what the person is saying (“So, what I hear you saying is...”) is so important. It’s equally important to clarify points you don’t understand. Finally, it’s helpful to periodi- cally summarize the speaker’s comments.
Let Them Finish
Don’t go Kanye because it’s frustrating to the speaker and it limits your understanding of what they’re trying to say. Always let them finish their thought before you jump in and ask questions.
Active listening is all about respect and understanding. Assert your opinions respectfully, and always be open and honest.
Nothing is more inviting than a genuine smile. Use yours liberally ;-)
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