7 Ways to Be a Better Listener from Smart Company

  1. Look at how they feel — Notice the tell-tale signs right in front of you — the sad eyes, the annoyed grimace, the eyes rolling skyward, the continual swallowing.
  2. Listen to their speech — Listen to the vocal inflections and pace of speaking. Always make allowances for both what and how people are speaking.
  3. Get rid of distractions — Give people your time and focused attention.
  4. Avoid going your way — Don’t interrupt and divert a conversation based on a thought you’ve had or something you’ve been waiting to address. Hold off until the speaker is finished.
  5. Turn off selective hearing — Be respectful and pay attention to all that is said, not just what you find interesting.
  6. No unsolicited quick fixes — Don’t offer answers that trivialize what is being said. Don’t assume your pithy solutions are right for everyone.
  7. Be patient — Make sure you understand the gist of what’s being said before jumping in with your take.