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3 Tips to Listen and Stay Interested (12/26) A2Z 2018

Charismatic people are interesting, others want to listen to what they have to say, and are interested, they want to listen to what others have to say.


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The benefits of listening to others is common knowledge but the consequences of not paying attention can, at times, be damaging.

  • Many potential opportunities are lost when a good conversation loses momentum.

  • Many conflicts do not aggravate or may have the potential to be easily resolved, if the aggrieved party senses that the other is paying attention.

  • When you do not listen, you may not understand the whole situation or the expectation the speaker has from you.

  • Not listening may even keep you from strengthening your relations with the speaker. Rather if you listen, it improves your bond with a co-worker.

When I first joined as a research executive, I found the field manager unapproachable and uncooperative, for reasons best known to him. My job involved coordinating with him, at various stages of the ongoing studies, but I could not break the ice with him.


Consequently. the flow of the project data from his desk to mine was consistently inadequate. With his limited English vocabulary and my little Arabic knowledge, I could not reason with him. His excuse merely changed from “I was busy in the field, for sure you will get it now.” to “Wallah I am trying my best, there are so many projects and I am responsible to make sure there is no mistake. If there is a mistake later, you will only complain, so be patient.”


So, I waited impatiently, filling my time with insignificant tasks. The “eyes and the ears” soon conveyed this to the boss and I was summoned to his office. I explained my situation without referring to anyone. My boss was a good manager and he saw through the situation. The boss dismissed me with a light reminder to the deadlines and the good work that my predecessor had done.


Later, the field manager came to my desk. He started with the words, “He doesn’t understand…” and spoke continuously for about ten minutes or so, quoting the names of different interviewers I never knew, giving reasons, much of which I did not understand.

I sat there listening to him, putting in mere syllables, “really”, “I didn’t know that”, “hmmm”.


Inwardly, I was very nervous, this was going to be my first independent report and time was precious, but outwardly, I calmly, called for tea for both of us, without milk for him.


Finally, the conversation ended and he said, “thank you, Huma, you are very kind”. Now, that was like a milestone covered, because it was the first time that he remembered my name correctly, until now, whatever little talks we had, he would call me by my predecessor’s name, then excuse and correct himself.


He promised to deliver the required by that evening. From that day onwards, I got full cooperation from him, which was crucial to my work. In ten minutes I had made an important friend by listening actively.


So here are 3 tips to stay interested and listen rather than just hear.

  1. It is better to keep down the mobile and turn down the TV volume during an active conversation.

  2. Show that you’re listening and have followed well by saying a word or saying “yes”, “uhuh” or “I see”.

  3. Making eye contact repeatedly during the conversation conveys to the speaker that you are paying attention as well as this ensures that you are also not distracted from the conversation.

Author's Note: Please read and share my post with others too.

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