I learn through listening and to a lesser extent reading and observing. I’ve always believed in the power of words and the way message is framed. I received an email that contains priceless hints about how to be a good listener. So I decided to post it on my blog. The email says:


Having good listening skills makes it easier to build trust, rapport, and confidence. Listening is time well spent.


Attending: demonstrated by head nods or eye contact. This shows you are paying attention to the speaker. Therefore, use this skill throughout the conversation.


Paraphrasing: demonstrated by reflecting back key words and messages. Reflect back to your direct report the content and the emotion of what he or she is saying. Use this skill to show that you have understood the main message.


Summarizing: or recapping is used to call out the main points and provide focus to the conversation. Use the summarizing skill after several pieces of information have been disclosed and you want to ensure that you have heard all the key messages.


Clarifying: demonstrated by asking questions. Use this skill to ensure understanding and gain more detail about the subject. Be sure to clarify information that is vague or unclear before proceeding to the next point.


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