Three Ways to Listen Better

If you want to increase your effectiveness at work and your popularity in your personal life, listen!

People LOVE being listened to. It’s very respectful and it feels great when people really listen to you, doesn’t it? It’s hard though, I know! I’m a great talker myself….

So here are a three tips to improve your listening skills (which I remind myself to use from time to time):

  1. Give them time: don’t rush in to help them finish a sentence, or jump in with your response. Stay quiet and give them some space to work out what they want to say.
  2. Stop judging them: simply listen to what they are saying. And believe them.
  3. Don’t continually stare directly into their eyes (it can feel a bit intimidating) but instead aim for a kind of softer look (be careful here, or you may end up looking drunk!) Take in the whole picture but keeping your attention on them.

Please do share any tips of your own for listening! I’m listening….


Posted on February 11th, 2010 by

3 Responses to “Three Ways to Listen Better”

  1. Fearg says:

    Hey Mum,

    Lovely tips, but if I may be so bold as to offer a fourth?

    Don’t OVER-listen. At worst it could be seen as patronising, at best anyone sitting nearby will be embarrassed. Remember the Q&A for “When did you last see your father?”


  2. Katherine Terrell Gray says:

    Hi Jane
    Your points on listening are good. I would add to Pt3., and say that looking at your speaker and actively showing that you’re engaged by them will make them feel valued and happier to be engaged by you… SO… avoid the temptation (especially at networking events, cocktail parties etc) of looking over their shoulders as people you’re interested in move around the room behind them. For men, this might include having some self discipline when it comes to attractive ladies wandering into view! Indulge yourself after your conversation, not during, as it’s very demeaning for the speaker if your eyes flit restlessly around the room when you’re talking. It also means that you might not be taken so seriously as a listener/contributer.Likewise, the person looking for their next networking lead – your current conversation may be important in the future, even if it isn’t apparent to you right now, so nurture it and then move on. Just a thought!


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