Authenticity is the number one trait admired by most people. And listening with authenticity is one way to gain admiration and trust. How do you do that? It’s easy. You listen to a person as if they are the only person in the room. You look them in the eye, nod your head in agreement, ask clarifying questions, and smile.
The most difficult habit that can block artful listening is holding back on the urge to jump into a conversation to voice your own opinion. We often believe that what we have to say is more important than the speaker. However, if you catch yourself jumping into a conversation with the words, Yes, but you are not listening. Yes, but responses mean you can’t help yourself and should be a warning that you need to work on learning to listen. Also try to use visual cues such as nodding your head, leaning forward, making eye contact, taking notes, and offering affirmative “uh ha” responses to show the speaker you are listening. These tactics are a good first step to artful listening.