If you want to build meaningful relationships and advance your career, you will need to become an active listener. Listening shows respect for others, letting them know you really care about their interests. Here are 4 tips to help you master the skill of active listening.
#1. Being Present. Don’t be thinking of something else while “pretending” to listen to what someone else has to say. Be aware that people do notice if you’re really listening. Focus and don’t allow your mind to wonder.
#2. Make Eye Contact. Making eye contact gives the other person a reason for them to believe you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.
#3. Don’t Interrupt. Allowing the other person to complete their thoughts shows respect by being patient. Don’t interrupt them even if you want to respond to something they just told you. Let them fully complete what they have to say before jumping in.
#4. Don’t Change the Subject. Changing the subject within an ongoing conversation only displays a lack of interest and indicates what you have to say is more important. Wait until the discussion is completely finished before changing the topic.
Most of us can listen well, and instinctively know the correct way to do it. But, following through with active listening can be very difficult. It requires a lot of effort and an obvious interest in the people around you.
YOUR CHALLENGE: At your next networking event, practice these 4 tips on someone who are having a conversation with. Do you notice anything?