How to Be a Great Listener

Anyone can talk and talk until their companion’s ears fall off, but not everyone is gifted with the ability to be a great listener. This is an important skill to acquire; being a expert listener makes the person you’re talking to feel important, and will most likely reciprocate the attention in return. In order to be a great listener, practice the following moves:

  • While talking, turn your hand with the palm up. Hand gestures are easily noticed, and our brains respond immediately to them. This gesture sends the subconscious message that you are encouraging the other person to open up to you.
  • Imitate the other person’s facial expressions while he is talking. Subtly smile or raise eyebrows, or tilt your head if the speaker is doing the same. This will make the person feel that you are occupying the same wavelength.
  • During a conversation, we instinctively want to fill up every long silence whenever the person pauses in his speaking. Practice perfect timing for this and note if the speaker is shifting his eyes left or right or turning her head. This shows that the speaker is most probably still in thought, so it’s best to wait for 5 to 10 seconds before breaking the silence.

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