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?