We are facing more distractions than ever before, and our attention span is reportedly down to 8 seconds much thanks to social media, smart devices, emails, instant messaging, apps, etc.
With that, it's never been more important to practice attentive listening to maximize your success at work. With that in mind, here are three ways to become a better listener:
- Step outside of your 'me' zone. Try to avoid filtering information from your perspective and focus solely on what someone else is trying to communicate. People often want to be heard and acknowledged.
- Tune out distractions. Close your laptop and leave the smartphone behind during meetings to give the person who is speaking your full attention. Giving someone your full attention increases engagement and connection with that individual while increasing your retention of information.
- Recognize what is unsaid. You don’t need psychic powers to understand what people aren’t saying but mean. Actively listening means you take in what the person is saying and also factor in their body language, interactions with others in the room and known and their life variables to understand the full picture.