Monday, October 11, 2021

Active Listening: Shift Your Focus

Naturally, we often think of ourselves as Number One. We’re the first person we try to take care of and try to guard ourselves when necessary. When it comes to active listening, however, the role is often reversed in order to focus on the other person. In order to actively listen, we must shift the focus from ourselves to the person speaking and become attuned to what they are saying.  Active listening steps should include turning to face the person and making eye contact with them. During the conversation, nod your head periodically as appropriate and give the speaker time to pause or rest before talking yourself. 

When the speaker has finished, stay focused by asking questions about what was said. Don’t be afraid to ask to clarify something you didn’t catch or something you may have missed. By shifting your focus to the speaker instead of on your thoughts, you should be able to remember and comprehend most of what was said. From there, you can offer suggestions or opinions and engage in open conversation. The speaker will be more likely to openly share with you if they feel as though you can focus on them as well as yourself.

Until next time ...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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