How to Rewire Your Brain to Listen

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?

Probably not.

In this era of always-on communication, fake listening is an epidemic.

Which got me thinking . . .

How can we practice being better listeners?

Here are some tips:

1. Listening isn’t a passive activity. You have to burn calories. Catch yourself spacing out.

2. If someone shares a story, resist the urge to tell them your story. Telling your story devalues the other person’s story.

3. Don’t assume you know what the other person is going to say.

4. No multitasking. Be present.

5. Don’t cut people off. Pause two beats after the other person is done talking.

6. No judging. When you judge, you get emotional. You can understand someone without agreeing with them. There are always multiple lenses to view things from.

7. Practice mirroring. Mirroring is repeating the last 2-3 words someone said with a slight up tone as if to say “Tell me more.”

8. Practice labeling. Labeling describes the underlying emotion the other person is feeling.  Labeling (It sounds like . . It looks like . . It feels like . . .).

Everyone has the hunger to be heard.

Like an athlete continuously getting stronger through training, your listening muscle will get stronger with reps.

Rewire your brain to listen.