8 ideas to increase your ability to listen:
- Maintain steady eye contact with the speaker.
- Sit or stand tall.
- Give the speaker encouraging cues like: “I see” “Tell me more” “That’s interesting”
- Remove physical barriers. Stand or sit near the speaker. Turn off your cell phone or pager. Relocate to a quieter setting if necessary.
- Paraphrase to demonstrate effective listening. “If I understand you correctly…. “ then allow the speaker to confirm your understanding or offer clarification.
- Demonstrate empathy
- Keep an open mind. You can’t learn less; the opportunity for more is always present.
- Listen for intent as well as content. Explore beyond the words spoken by probing for the real meaning.