I have resolved to be a better listener. In truth, I know I am a better talker than listener. Five thousand words in a day is normal for me. So, here are six things I am trying to do to be a better listener.
- Focus on the person with whom I am conversing and not just their opinions.
- I try to be attentive to reading the other person’s verbal and non-verbal communication. I deliberately avoid looking around, sighing or checking my phone.
- Before responding, I make myself wait until the other person is finished speaking. In that way, I put my analysis and judgement on hold. There will be a moment when my response is welcome.
- Can I hold the impulse to interrupt?
- Hopefully, I am really listening to what is said instead of mentally preparing clever comebacks.
- The most helpful insight I have gained is that when the other person is finished talking, I make an attempt to summarize their insight, argument or position.