One of our biggest problems with people is that we don’t listen. One of the greatest ways to devalue someone is to have your attention elsewhere when they are trying to talk to you. We’re so eager to jump in and say something that we’re not processing and listening.
We have become a culture that just wants to talk. We want to be heard so desperately, but rarely do we take the time to digest what others are saying. When you are quick to speak over others, you are essentially communicating “this is more valuable than what you have to say.” When we take the time to listen, we show others that we value whatever it is that they have to say.
Let’s use our body language to become better listeners:
- Mirror - when someone is speaking, you can show that you are listening by repeating what he or she says using the following language: “so what I am hearing you say is…”
- Be quick to listen, slow to speak - take the time to offer an attentive ear and really listen to what the other person is saying. Smile, nod, whatever you can do to let the other person know that you are listening and that you care.
- Posture yourself - make sure your eyes are on the person and that you are physically postured in a way that lets the other person know you are listening.