What? Oh, that was important?

August 19, 2009

Ever find yourself drifting along, enjoying the moment, then getting suddenly snapped back into reality by realising that someone has been speaking to you for quite some time?

Two options.

  1. Fake it through.  This is the common school kid trick.  If you can manage to repeat back to them the last thing they said to you, you must have been listening.  Right?
  2. Confess.  “Sorry, I got lost for a moment there.  You were talking about such and such…”

Obviously it would be better to avoid these awkward little predicaments in the first place.  So for my pearl of wisdom, over the next few days try out a few different listening techniques.

  • Repeat back what has been covered at the end of the conversation in a mini, one to two line summary.
  • Pause after they’ve finished speaking.  It shows (or at least gives the illusion) that you’re considering the next move.
  • Engage in active listening.  A massively important skill.  For a pretty good summary of this check out this blog.
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