How to Be A Good Listener
We’ve all heard that listening skills are vital, but how do you skillfully listen?
Stop thinking about what you’re going to say next and focus on what the other person is saying right now.
Listen ACTIVELY: Be curious and ask to hear more about what interests you.
Often, we ACT like we are listening, but we are not fully listening because we are already thinking about what we want to say next.
Active listening means that you have nothing to say!
It means that you are truly concentrating on what your interlocutor is saying. The only thing you should be thinking about is what thought or idea is he expressing that I find interesting and want to know more about?
When you ask people to tell you more, it makes you more likable, and they are far more willing to help you.
The basics of active listening are pretty straightforward:
- LISTEN. Don’t interrupt, disagree or judge.
- Nod your head, smile, look thoughtful, make brief acknowledging comments like “yes” and “I see.”
- In order to make sure you understand, summary the gist of what they just said.
- Ask questions that show you’ve been paying attention and that move the discussion forward.
I know, I know — some people are just boring. You’re not that interested in what they’re saying. So what questions do you ask then, smart guy?