Join LinkedIn Learning Staff Instructor for an in-depth discussion in this video Listening effectively, part of Job Skills: Learning the Basics.
- [Narrator] We've all been there. You're talking to someone and you get this nagging feeling that they're not really listening to you. They're just waiting for their turn to talk and you're thinking, "What is this, a soliloquy?" Look, that's hearing, not listening, and that kind of behavior undermines your trust in their ability to really help or understand you, but don't get me wrong. Communication is a two-way street. Everyone should have a chance to speak their mind. So, how do you find the right balance? Well, start by practicing active listening.
It really boils down to two simple things, using attentive nonverbal communication and clarifying your understanding of the speaker's point. Let's break those down. Nonverbal communication. It's those little unspoken things. It's how you know your mom's mad at you even when she doesn't even say anything. It's tone of voice. Keep it at a higher pitch. It'll sound like you have more energy and like you're being positive. It's your body language. Keep it relaxed.
Uncross your arms and breathe. Try sprinkling in a few nods. Just not so many that you look like a bobble head. And it's eye contact. Maintain it. It shows you care. Okay, and what about clarifying your understanding of the speaker's points? That's easy, first recap. You can avoid a lot of misunderstanding by recapping what you hear and checking to make sure that's what they meant. It's an easy and effective way to show someone, "I heard you." Now, what if it's your turn to speak? You might want to keep a notepad handy and jot down any burning thoughts you have during the conversation.
Trust me, once you resolve the other person's concerns, they're going to be way more open to hearing what you have to say and doing what you want them to do. Meaningful conversations require trust and building that trust starts with you showing that you're listening and that means setting aside your own feedback for the conversation.