I was recently introduced to a gentleman and his wife at a popular lunch place. As we sat together, he began launching into very expressive and animated stories about his political career (he is a former State of Texas Speaker of the House). I noticed as he was talking that I was smiling as I was listening.
In the classes I have taught covering listening skills, I usually emphasize paying very close attention to the other person (body language, tone of voice, etc.). Only as I was listening to this gentleman did I remind myself that it’s just as important to pay attention to YOUR OWN expressions and body language while listening as it is to THEIRS! As I smiled, he saw this and continued to share his story with joy and excitement.
Try this as you are listening to the next person you encounter. See if it doesn’t make a difference for you as it did for me. 🙂