We all think we’re good listeners. No really. A new survey has found 96% of people say they’re good listeners. But as you know since you’ve been in more than one conversation…that number is insane.
Research shows the truth is we all retain only around half of what people say to us. And that’s only directly after they say it to us. Don’t ask us to tell you what someone said to us even a week ago. We spend about 45% of our communication time listening and 30% talking yet we burn a lot more brainpower thinking about what we’re going to say.
Here are some quick tips if you actually want to be the good listener you claim to be.
- Don’t Assume. Simply put, be dumber. Stop thinking you know where a conversation is headed or that you know better than the person you’re talking to. Stay open and stay curious.
- Ask Questions. Instead of worrying about what to say after they’re done talking, listen to what they’re saying and ask follow-up questions.
- Stop Making Everything About You. You do not have to relate every single story to an experience you had. When someone tells you a story, engage with them and keep the focus on their anecdote.
- Allow Silence. Resisting the urge to fill space with your voice. Hit pause and let the person you’re talking to expand on their thoughts.