If you want to get a promotion, you have to learn to handle yourself in conversation. A brief conversation with the right person can greatly help – or hinder – your chances of getting promoted. In a conversation, two types of activities occur simultaneously: speaking and listening. In good conversations, both of these are continuous and productive. In plain English, when you’re in a conversation, if you’re not speaking and providing information, you need to be listening and receiving it. Asking good questions is an important way to become known as a great conversationalist. But in order to take full advantage of the questions you ask, you need to really listen to the answers and respond appropriately. Here are my top seven tips for becoming a good listener – and conversationalist.
- Look the other person in the eye when he or she is speaking. This demonstrates that you are engaged with him or her.
- Listen to understand what the other person is saying – not to plan your rebuttal.
- Listen really hard when the other person begins by saying something with which you don’t agree.
- Know the words that trigger your emotions. Don’t get distracted by them.
- Be patient. Some people take longer than others to make their point. Don’t interrupt.
- Ask clarification questions when you don’t understand.
- Repeat what you have heard the other person say – to make sure you got it right, and to show him or her that you were listening.