Now listen here….
There’s no better time to improve your listening skills than today, the National Day of Listening. A pro explains how to make others feel truly heard:
Use more than your ears
“Your body language signals your engagement in the conversation. Eye contact, a forward lean, and head nods all signify attention, even in a virtual meeting.”
Find out what they need
“You can be a thoughtful l listener by asking someone how they want you to listen. Are they looking for advice? Or are they looking to share or vent?
“If you failed to listen or got distracted, admit it instead of pretending. “I didn’t quite catch that. Could you please repeat it?” are powerful words, as long as you’re not always saying them. It’s better to have the context than to try to fill in the missing pieces on your own.
The National Day of Listening was started by StoryCorps in 2008 as a way to provide an alternative to “Black Friday” shopping sprees. By participating in this year’s National Day of Listening, we hope you’ll find that taking the time out to interview someone about his or her life is the least expensive but most meaningful gift that we can give.
“The idea of listening during the holiday season has clearly resonated with people across the country. The National Day of Listening, which coincides with Black Friday–traditionally the largest shopping day of the year–provides a meaningful alternative to holiday consumerism and proves that simply listening to one another is the least expensive and most meaningful gift we can give.”