One of the greatest gifts you can give to someone is to listen to them.
Really stop, clear your mind, and listen. The benefits are many, but suffice to say that communication skills are the #1 indicator of team performance. Here are a few refresher tips on Active Listening:
1) Quiet your mind, give the speaker your full attention, and listen completely to what they are saying – words, emotions, and body language. Take it all in. Especially note body-language and emotions.
2) Repeat back what you’ve heard (and seen) and ask questions as needed.
3) Become aware of your listening blocks – such as “mind reading” (anticipating what they will say next), rehearsing (what you are going to say next), daydreaming, advising, judging, etc. We all have them. Do your best to shut these distractions down while you are listening.
The gift of listening costs nothing but is an important skill that you can start sharpening up during your next conversation!
You can find my previous Essential Skills Posts here: