All Ears on You: Listening

Remember that when you listen, you are learning from the other person. Research on motivation by Arie Kruglanski a social psychologist and his colleagues at the University of Maryland suggests that there are two distinct motivational mindsets: a thinking mindset and a doing mindset. When you listen, you put yourself in a thinking mindset. It gives you a chance to really try to understand what is going on around you. When you focus on planning your next contribution to the conversation, you enter a doing mindset, and you don’t think through the events carefully. Give yourself that chance to think. 

Here are some other key tips on becoming a better listener, which is a crucial skill to have in the workforce: 

  • Make eye contact and face the speaker
  • Keep an open mind 
  • Don't interrupt or interject with your solutions 
  • Wait for the speaker to pause before asking questions 
  • Show empathy and feedback through non-verbal cues like a nod or appropriate facial expressions