Last year I had the opportunity to meet a designer from Google. During our chat he mentioned that a course on deep listening helped him become a better designer. While I don’t have access to the course I figured a book is the next best thing to learn more about this topic. Deep Listening — Impact beyond words seemed to be the most popular so I went with it even though it’s really short–just over 100 pages.
Turns out the secret to deep listening is…to just listen:
- Be present in the moment
- Give the speaker your undivided attention
- Give the speaker space to think–avoid jumping in just because they pause
- Don’t start thinking about a reply
- Don’t interrupt
When you think about it, it all just sounds like common sense and mindfulness. I’ve been guilty of interrupting, eagerly waiting for my turn to speak and being distracted to name a few. In the past few days however I’ve made a conscious effort to notice those things in order to become a better listener.
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” –Epictetus