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How to really listen

The companion to speaking is listening.  Unfortunately, it’s not something that tend to do very well.  I’ve put together a few guidelines for how to listen effectively:

  1. Shut up.  No seriously, you can listen if you’re trying to speak.
  2. Quarantine yourself.  Create as much privacy as possible for you and your partner.
  3. Pay attention.  You can’t listen if you’re busy thinking about what you’re going to say next.
  4. Open your mind.  You can’t listen if you’re trying to convince them of your point-of-view.
  5. Act interested.  Do not multi-task, do not look distracted.
  6. Summarize periodically.  At decent intervals, sum up what has been said in your own words.
  7. Ask intelligent, relevant questions to ensure you have all the information you need.
  8. Schedule a follow up conversation if necessary.

If you’d like to know more, I’d suggest checking out these website:

  1. Active Listening by Mindtools
  2. How to be a Good Listener by Roger Darlington
  3. Eight barriers to effective listening by Michael Webb.

One response to “How to really listen

  1. Pingback: Creating a win-win environment « Girl, don't be stupid!

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