By Karen Rodriguez Exec-Comm
Have you ever noticed that some people just seem to be better listeners than others-- engaged in your every thought; understanding your message; focused on you?
It’s called focused listening.
Focused listening is a key factor to exuding executive presence and an important business skill. With practice and effort, anyone can become a focused listener.
Focused listening requires a combined effort from your ears, eyes, body and mind and it’s a key to being a successful leader.
Here are three characteristics of a focused listener:
- Focused listeners take notes (in-person or face-to-face meetings/ interviews). Taking notes helps you to concentrate your mind and compliments the speaker by showing that you’re engaged and value what he/she is saying. Notes also improve your recall of the content.
- Focused listeners encourage speakers (in-person or phone meetings/interviews). Show the speaker you’re listening by raising your eyebrows or nodding. You can also offer a response when the speaker pauses.
- Focused listeners probe for issues (in-person or phone meetings/interviews). If you’re not clear on something, ask questions!
Focused listening is an important skill that can be used in all parts of your life, whether at home, the office or in the classroom. Give these three tips a try and see how it improves your communication style.
About the Author
Karen Rodriguez joined Exec.Comm in 1999, and entered the partnership in 2009. As the manager of the Exec|Comm brand, marketing and design efforts, Karen oversees the firm’s identity, touching all aspects of the brand (online presence and web site, web-based learning center, advertising, PR, classroom materials, and live special events). She recently introduced the firm’s blog, The Chat, and launched their quarterly lunch and learn series, The Learning Exchange. Additionally, she manages their open-enrollment seminars in New York and San Francisco. Karen holds a B.F.A. from Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. She lives in Aberdeen, NJ, with her husband and three sons.