Can we ever get enough of these quick hitters? No, I don't think so. Sometimes short and sweet works just fine for both the writer and the reader. So far I've done leadership, customer service, and motivation; let's see what can be done about listening.


1. Maintain eye contact with whomever you're listening to. It's hard not to pay attention to someone who's looking you in the eye.

2. Be as comfortable as you possibly can. Any other position agitates you and thus you're only concentrating on how bad you feel at that moment.

3. When the other person pauses, take that opportunity to repeat parts of what the person has said to make sure you're getting it correct. It might feel like you're interrupting but everyone appreciates knowing that you hear everything they're saying.

4. If they ask you to let them tell the whole story, don't interrupt again. This happens sometimes, in which case just let the other person talk.

5. Don't answer phones; if you can, turn them off. It's hard to ignore a ringing (do phones ring anymore?) or buzzing phone, but it's imperative to try not to allow any interruptions.

6. If the other person needs to walk, let them. Some people think there's an advantage to making the talker sit across from them but everyone isn't comfortable speaking while sitting still.

7. Don't be thinking about responses while the other person is talking. This is the hardest to overcome because human nature makes us want to respond to everything almost immediately.

8. It's okay to take notes. I know very few people who'd get upset if you took notes during a conversation unless it's a personal conversation. You want to get it right and if that's your way, go for it.

9. Instead of always immediately responding, try asking probing questions that not only proves you were listening, but that will also give you more information. Sometimes you know you're not getting the whole story, but questions lets the person know you really care.

10. Process what you've heard before you respond. Even if you think you got it all, taking some time to think about it before you say anything helps to make sure you respond in the proper way. You might only get one chance to get it right.

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