Yes, we are in a Zoom (insert Microsoft teams, Google Meet, etc.) world and distractions are aplenty. Whether you are interviewing or conducting a team meeting, it’s imperative to be present and connect.
Between notifications for email and Slack, phone calls, LinkedIn posts, tweets, and so on, digital communication is at an all-time high and, this all-time high requires true listening. Today active listening is a skill that too often gets lost in a sea of technological noise.
We can all improve our active listening skills in a few easy steps and in the process build better relationships, resolve conflicts, and understand issues, whether in the workplace or elsewhere.
Here are 5 tips to help develop our active listening skills while on Zoom:
- Quiet Your Mind. Quieting the mind before a meeting is critical for being present without thinking ahead to say next or trying to problem solve. This is key to active listening! Before a meeting starts, turn off other notifications, close your eyes, and take three deeps breaths. Turn on Zoom and you are ready to go.
- Maintain eye contact. Have the speaker on speaker view. If it’s distracting to see yourself, hide your own view. When possible stand while you are conducting your meeting. You’ll find that your voice may project better and you’ll be more present.
- Be empathetic. The soul of active listening is empathy. If the person you’re listening to is sad, happy, fearful, or angry in your conversation, place yourself in their shoes. Repeat back what they just said. Use statements such as “Let me make sure I understand or let me make sure I heard you correctly”. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarity.
- Stay Curious and stay out of judgment. Ask questions for clarity vs. for problem-solving.
- Look for nonverbal cues. Their cadence, tone of voice, and body language can offer a lot of information. Look for small signs of nervousness, enthusiasm, or anxiety in their mannerisms, gestures, and posture to help determine how they really feel.
The digital meeting space is here to stay. Even when we can be together again in person, many companies have shifted to a remote environment. These 5 tips can help develop our active listening skills while on Zoom and create greater connections.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 582nd issue of our weekly a.blog.