How can I show others that I am listening to them?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,129
    Communications expert Sean McArdle discusses the importance of becoming an effective listener including how to show others that you are listening to them.

    Host: How can I show others that I am listening to them?

    Sean McArdle: There are physical, physiological cues that say I am listening. I have already mentioned one, you lean forward. Another would be, if somebody is trying to communicate across a room, you hold your hand up to your ear and say, I am listening. It literally give them the physical cue, but if you really want to become a great listener then it is my opinion that you must become more like Sherlock Holmes and a lot less like Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln was a terrific order, Sherlock Holmes asked terrific questions.

    Beginning to become an effective listener amounts to somebody saying, I really want to know you better, I really want to understand our relationship better, I really want to do a better job of comprehending what is going on around me. The people I find are the most effective listeners in the world are the people who ask the best and most meaningful questions.

    So, how would I implement that? Let us say that you wanted to find out what was going on in a meeting. Write out four or five excellent questions about that before you go to the meeting. Then, not only ask the questions, but actively listen to the answers. So, ask the question, actively listen to the answers. So, in effect to implement this great skill of listening, you need to also implement the great skill of asking question because those are the things that unlock meaning for people and it is my opinion that if you will become a great questioner, you have to become a better listener.