Are You a Good Listener?

October 12th, 2009 by Shaun McNerney Leave a reply »

I never imagined I would write about how to be a good listener. I thought being a good listener was a fundament concept of Networking 101. Apparently not everyone has passed Networking 101.

I have a friend that never listens. All he does is talk (about his business). He could easily go on and on for hours at a time.

Listening is a skill that everyone should learn. It takes practice and patience. Here are some basic tips to be a good listener:

Stay Focused – Maintain eye contact. Listen to what is being said (the content) and ignore how it was said (the delivery).

Remain Objective – Avoid emotional involvement so that you hear what was said and not what you want to hear.

Avoid Distractions – Don’t interrupt. Interruptions send a signal that you’re not listening.

Listen…Acknowledge…Reply – Wait until the talker is done, take some time to process what they said, formulate your reply, then reply.

Apply The 50/50 Rule – Try to balance talking / listening so everyone participates equally.

Finally, all of these tips can be used by talkers. Talkers should look for signs of good listening. After all, why talk to someone if they aren’t going to listen.


Shaun McNerney

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1 comment

  1. John Hauber says:

    Great post. One last item: ask probing questions so that you have an opportunity to listen.