Relationships are a key to success in your life and your career, and building them takes time.
One essential skill to master when cultivating relationships is listening. If you don’t actively listen to other people, you won’t know what they want and you won’t gain any wisdom from their insights.
Growth and comfort do not coexist.
The Healthline website shares these tips for learning active listening:
- Give people your full attention. Concentrate on their words to the exclusion of everything else. Don’t plan your response while they’re still speaking, and don’t use a pause to steer the conversation around to another topic. If you really can’t focus in the moment, ask to reconnect at a time when you can fully commit to the discussion.
- Use positive body language. Your body communicates just as much as your words do, if not more. Make sure you’re fully facing the other person. Relax your body, but lean in slightly to show interest in what they’re saying. Make eye contact—not a relentless stare, but frequent gazes into their eyes. Nod to show you’re listening and you understand.
- Don’t interrupt. You may be tempted to jump in with an idea or solution. Restrain the impulse. Instead, wait for the other person to start talking before asking questions or offering your point of view.