Are you listening?

This past week it struck me that the word listen is made up of the same letters as silent. Coincidence?

Maybe we need to be silent to really listen a little more perhaps?

Yesterday I was busy redesigning a virtual learning workshop. As I was reflecting upon how much listening I do in my coaching career and as a facilitator, I realised… I listen a lot!!

Here are my top tips on active listening from my design work yesterday…

– Pay Attention! Don’t just listen to the words, or simply respond…hear the complete message, as Stephen Covey always used to say, listen to understand.

– Show that you are interested – nod, use facial expressions, use eye contact, make verbal comments like “uh huh” or I see.

– Listen to the other person’s story without being judgmental.

– Use empathy to understand and feel what the other person is feeling.

– Ask open questions to probe further, check for understanding and summarise.

– Don’t be afraid of silence – frequently that is when the most is going on.

How can you listen a little more today?