Watch Your Tone When Listening
My face said it all. I wasn’t paying attention. How soon can they be finished with their monologue of discontent and discouragement. Lately, I have been observing characteristics of others as they listen or attempt to. Whether it is a meeting or a 1:1 conversation, we all may need to do a little self reflection or at least pretend that someone is recording us. Here are some of the latest visual queues of poor listening that I have seen:
- The Eye Roller - Usually done in meetings.
- The Fidgeter - Shows signs of anxiety or nervousness about the talk. Leaders pay attention here as it may be an opportunity to encourage or reassure.
- The Downcast Look - Oh woe is me. My troubles are much more relevant than anything you have to say. I am not hearing anything coming out of your mouth.
- The Plastered Smile - This is the fake it approach to listening, where more emphasis is placed upon the outward visual than tuning into the person talking
- The Annoyed - Why bother me. This is a waste of my time.
Here are a few techniques to visibly improve how you listen:
- Make eye contact - It helps to focus your attention on them.
- Take notes in a meeting - I have found that this actually increases peoples perception of your participation in silence.
- Empathize with the other person’s view - By doing this you will forget about your problems and just focus on theirs
- Put away your phone or laptop - The World Cup match is probably not that important
What ways do you work to become an active listener?