Most people (spouses excluded) won’t call you out, but they’re definitely judging you based on how well you listen when they’re talking. Active Listening is a skill you have to constantly sharpen, but one that’s often forgotten because it’s considered “too basic”.
When I say “active listening” I’m not talking about nodding your head, or agreeing with the other person, or even making intense, venturing on creepy, eye contact. If you want to seem like you’re listening, go ahead and practice those things. But active listeners PROVE they’re listening by doing these three things:
- Anchor Yourself. Be present in the conversation. If you can’t commit to being present, be honest and ask if you can have the conversation another time.
- Survey What’s Being Said. Ask great questions to ensure you understand or get to a deeper level of understanding.
- Show You Listened. Use what you heard. Whether it was a request to do something differently or just information you needed, show you listened by recalling the information at a later date or by doing what they asked you to do.
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