Adapted from “Human Resources in Business”
You cannot listen if you are talking.
PUT THE TALKER AT EASE
Help them feel that they are free to talk.
This is called permissive environment.
SHOW THEM THAT YOU WANT TO LISTEN
Look and act interested. Do not read, or do anything else while they talk.
Listen to understand, rather than to respond.
Do not doodle, tap or shuffle papers. Would it be quieter if you shut the door?
Give full attention.
Try to put yourself in their shoes so you can see their point of view.
Do not start for the door or walk away.
Allow plenty of time and do not interrupt.
HOLD YOUR TEMPER
An angry person gets the wrong meaning from words.
GO EASY ON ARGUMENT AND CRITICISM
This puts the talker on the defensive.
This encourages them to talk and shows you are listening.
This is the FIRST and LAST rule for good listening because all others depend on it. It is not possible to do a good job listening while you are talking.
A gentle reminder:
“Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, but one tongue—to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak.” ~ Socrates