You’re having a conversation with a friend who glances at their phone from time to time when it buzzes.
When you’re done talking, they say, “That’s super interesting.”
Do you believe them?
In this era of always-on communication, fake listening is an epidemic.
Which got me thinking . . .
How can we practice being better listeners?
Whenever I had a conversation with my former boss Harry, he closed his laptop screen and put his phone in a drawer.
Harry didn’t tell you he was going to listen. He showed you.
But it wasn’t just his body language. It was Harry’s words too.
Harry was a great “tennis player.” He knew how to keep a rally going.
Here’s the phraseology he used:
“Sorry, I’m not tracking.”
“What do you mean?”
“How’d that make you feel?”
“You seem upset.”
“Is something bothering you?”
“It sounds like that was tough.”
” ” (Silence.)
Whenever I had a conversation with Harry, I felt he was genuinely curious about what I was saying.
Knowing how to make people feel heard is a superpower for getting through to anyone in your personal or professional life.