Blog written by recruiter Koreena Geisler-Wagner.

We’ve all had experience talking to someone who does not appear to be listening to the words coming out of your mouth– it’s as though everything you say goes in one ear and right out the other. It is frustrating, to say the least. Truly listening, also called active listening, is much more than simply hearing what a person has to say. It involves monitoring body language, tone, and also what is not said. One tried and true hallmark of most great leaders is their ability to pick up all cues (verbal, visual, behavioral) when engaging with those around them. In his article “7 Things Fabulous Listeners Do Differently,” Dr. Travis Bradberry discusses which behaviors good listeners make a habit of, and which behaviors they avoid. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Phones away. Nothing is more dismissive than scrolling, typing, or even glancing at a phone or other electronic device when someone is trying to speak with you. It also detracts from your ability to focus on the other individual and will lead to you missing subtle conversation cues and body language.
  • Be open-minded. Nobody wants to hold a conversation with someone who is passing judgment and countering everything they try to say. According to Bradberry, “having an open mind is crucial in the workplace, where approachability means access to new ideas and help.”
  • Focus. Don’t be so concerned with what you’re going to say next that you miss the other person’s side of the conversation entirely. This is probably the most important, most simple, and yet most difficult tip to incorporate into your listening habits.

Today’s message for active listening brought to you by Contemporaries.

Photo: Listen by Ky, available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.