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When other people are talking to you, pay attention.
Seriously, don’t just listen with half an ear while you check emails. A lot of us got into the bad habit of multitasking in Teams meetings during the pandemic, and we need to retrain our brains to focus again.
Turn your head and body to fully face the person.
Use nonverbals like head nods to convey you get what they are saying and agree with them.
Flip your phone upside down, close your laptop, and silence your notifications when listening.
Don’t just be thinking about what YOU will say when they stop talking. Pay attention to what THEY are saying.
Confirm your understanding. “So, if I understand you right, we will do X and they will do Y, and we’ll receive Z.”
Giving people your attention conveys respect. You get a better understanding of their positions. They won’t repeat themselves as much. It actually adds to YOUR charisma and leadership reputation to be an effective listener, as people feel like you care about them and value them.
If you can’t give them a lot of time, let them know, e.g., “I can give you 5 minutes right now. Will that be enough time, or do we need to schedule something for this afternoon?” Being a good listener does not mean you need to be an infinite listener.