how to listen

Listening is such a hard thing to do. It’s underestimated how beneficial it is for everyone and at the same time we are rarely able to do it right.

Why? Because true listening starts with setting aside ego, leaving it out of the room so that you can listen freely and with no prejudice.

If you really want to listen to something the first rule would be to not talk.

If you need to talk the only way to continue listening is by asking question that dig deeper into the topic.
Avoid questions whose goal is to expose the limits of the presentation of your collegue or the errors.
Instead, ask question about the subject, if something isn’t quite clear, ask why is that, what’s the difference.

But the less you talk, the more you listen.
Then if the goal of this entire discussion is for you to learn something or to show that you understood the problem, or even that it’s clear what was your mistake, then repeat with your own words what has been said to you.

Much like a summary or a movie trailer, try to list all the information you grasped. 
This will produce two effects:
* It’ll allow you to be sure of what you learned and check if you listened and understood
* It’ll allow the other person to see that you were actively listening, you were participating.

Too often we listen only to say “I got it”. Which shows only our ego, our “I’m the best” type of behaviour.

To show if you truly grasped a concept there’s no better way than repeating it and this will always make the other person happy if you can put it using your own words in a truly sincere way.


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