Active Listening

1. Shut Up In order to ‘open’ your ears, you must first close your mouth.  You can only hear what the other person has to say if you give them a chance to talk.

2. Show The Other Person Respect You must have, and also show a sincere concern for what the other person has to say.  Don’t succumb to your own preconceived ideas and opinions that would keep you from being open to the ideas of others.

3. Listen For The Truth Evaluate what is being said without regard for who is saying it.

4. Don’t Interrupt The Other Person Let them finish and then ask questions or make comments.  This allows you to hear their complete thought and perhaps gain a better understanding of what they are saying.

5. Don’t Speak For More Than 30 Seconds Without Asking For Comments Studies show that the attention span of people engaged in conversation is only about 30 seconds.  To keep the other person’s mind from ‘wandering’ while you speak, keep your thoughts short and ask for comments or feedback frequently.

6. Don’t Think About Your Response While The Other Person Is Talking If you are thinking about what you are going to say, you are not listening to what the other person is saying!

7. Try To Understand From The Other Person’s Point Of View Listen for the intent of what is being said.  Try to understand that the other person is thinking.

8. Verbalize the other person’s comment before responding When you ‘feedback’ the other person’s comments to them, it serves two purposes.  First, it shows them you are listening.  Second, it serves as a check to make sure you are ‘on the same wave length.’

9. Keep good eye contact Caution, don’t ‘stare them down.’  Notice the degree of eye contact the other person makes with you and ‘mirror back’ similar eye contact.

10. Respect the other person’s point of view You may not agree with what they have to say, but just like you, they have the right to their ideas and opinions.