Did you know that the mere presence of a smartphone on the table, even turned off, significantly reduces your cognitive capacity and brain power? I started thinking about all these meetings with phones and laptops on the table, how much were we really listening?
I recently finished You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters, by Kate Murphy, which explores the art of listening. The author interviews many individuals including Naomi Henderson, Focus Group Moderator, and Barry McManus, CIA Interrogator, to understand what characterizes good / active listening. Being a good listener starts with creating the context for listening, the intent to understand, but is also about asking good questions.
For me, a good listening experience usually means the other person created space for it: the environment isn't too noisy, distractions are set aside... But also that the person did not jump to conclusion, interrupt or volunteered answers before understanding the problem.
I would be curious to hear what makes a good listening experience for you. What are the traits of those you consider good listeners, what do you do make sure you offer a good listener experience to others?