[author: Martha Newman, J.D.]
How to Signal that You Are Interested and Actively Listening
It's a term that, for some of us, goes in one ear and out the other.
But have you ever really sat down and thought about how well you listen to others?
Probably not because, quite frankly, it's not really something people think about. People assume that, yes, they are listening to clients and colleagues - and listening well.
Unfortunately, many people just aren't attentive listeners. And, if you're not a good listener you may see many of your personal and professional relationships dissolve over time.
People want to feel appreciated. They want to feel that the person they're talking to is interested in what they have to say. And, guess what? As a listener, YOU can show them!
Here is a checklist of signals that you can use to show that you're interested and actively listening.
Take initiative and be the first person to say hello. This will immediately show your interest in the other person.
Don't interrupt - ever. Wait until the person is finished talking to begin speaking.
If you're having a face-to-face conversation, show empathy and understanding by nodding your head. You can even involve your whole body in engaging the person you're talking with.
Ask questions that demonstrate your interest in the other person's opinion.
Laugh at their jokes.
ALWAYS remember their name. You can do this by trying to attach a person's name to their face, then repeating the name seconds later to ensure you remember it.
Being a good listener doesn't come naturally to a lot people. Think about how you listen to others by running through this checklist during your next conversation.
With a few adjustments you'll be listening like a pro in no time!