One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” -Bryant H. McGill
Communication requires speaking and listening. It’s a dance where effective communication requires the participation of everyone. One of the most difficult parts is active listening. Here’s a quick summary. Take two minutes and watch.
Forbes offers 10 Steps for Effective Listening. The article is from 2012, but still good advice.
- Face the speaker, maintain eye contact
- Be attentive, but relaxed
- Keep an open mind, don’t judge
- Listen and picture what is being said
- Don’t interrupt or impose your solutions
- Wait for a pause to ask clarifying questions
- Ask questions to ensure understanding
- Try to feel what the speaker is feeling
- Give feedback by nodding, reflecting, show some feeling
- Pay attention to non-verbal cues
And I will add…
If you are the speaker, give the listener a chance to offer a response or ask a question. Conversations shouldn’t be a one way street.