Are there any fake listeners out there? or How about listeners that nod their head and put a smile on their face looking interested?
Harvard did a study that concluded that the stereo typical “nod” or face gestures are not enough to show someone that you are actually listening to the conversation.
Here are a few things you can do to be a better listener.
Instead of just listening:
- ask a question or two to promote discovery or insight
- make good suggestions
- make yourself available to so bounce around ideas
- help them feel supported in their conversation
- ask follow up questions to better understand where the conversation is leading
The Harvard study went on to give additional advice such as putting away distractions while conversing and be more understanding to the of their emotions.