How Do You Become a Better Listener Overnight?

As a wise man once said, “Nature has given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.” Even still, listening is a difficult skill. More often than not, we find ourselves listening to respond, rather than listening to learn. Don’t worry if that sounds like something you’re guilty of.

It’s never too late to learn how to be a better listener overnight.

Remember to Maintain Eye Contact

Above all else, maintaining eye contact lets the person you’re speaking with know that you’re listening. But that isn’t all that it does. When you maintain eye contact, you are more actively involved with the conversation by default. It’s hard to be disengaged when you’re making a concerted effort to keep your eyes focused on the person you’re talking to.

It may feel uncomfortable or awkward at first, but it’s ultimately one of the most important communication skills that you can develop throughout your life and career.

Limit Distractions as Much as Possible

It’s far easier to maintain eye contact and be a better, more active listener when you limit distractions as much as possible. Put down the smartphone. Forget about the clock. In those moments when you’re trying to be a present listener, just focus on being present.

To become a better listener overnight, start by limiting as many distractions as you possibly can.

Ask Questions to Dive Deeper

By far, the best thing you can do to become a better listener overnight is to simply ask questions. Dive deeper into the conversation and make it all about the person you’re speaking with.

One of the worst things you can do when you’re trying to be a better listener is to assume you know the answers to the questions you’re asking. Don’t try to be a mind-reader; just allow the person you’re in conversation with to lead and answer freely.

In the end, being a better listener just takes patience, concentration, and a willingness to tap into your natural sense of empathy. Be the person you wish would listen to you, and center all of your conversations around the idea that you’re there to learn from others. Ultimately, this practice will make you not only a better listener, but also a better person all around.

Leslie WolgamottHow Do You Become a Better Listener Overnight?
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Surprising Keys to Being a Successful Mentor

No one is a successful mentor right out of the gate. Like anything else worth doing, being a successful mentor takes time, dedication, and sticktoitiveness. It also takes a little know-how, which is why it’s important to read up on all of the keys to being a successful mentor.

Some of the keys might surprise you. If you’ve never mentored anyone before (and even if you have), they might even go against your natural instincts as a leader. Regardless, these keys to success are tried and true methods for fostering and growing a deeply impactful mentor-mentee relationship.

Share Your Failures as Much as Your Successes

It’s always uncomfortable to talk about failure, and it’s especially counterintuitive when you’re a mentor. But, if you want to be the best mentor you can possibly be, you have to push past that awkwardness.

Think about all of the most influential people in your life. Were they perfect? Probably not by any stretch of the imagination. Even still, they were great mentors—not because they were flawless, but because they did amazing things in spite of their fallibility.

Letting your mentor in on your failures will help them to better see themselves in your successes.

Understand Where Your Mentee is Coming From

…And where they want to go.

One of the most important tasks that mentors take on is meeting their mentees where they are. If you can’t understand their perspective, then you won’t be able to help them shift it to see new possibilities.

To be the best mentor, you have to understand where your mentee is coming from—as well as where they see themselves heading over the next two to five years. You wouldn’t plan a road trip without knowing what Point A and Point B are, so then why would you enter into a mentorship situation without having a similar plan and understanding?

Listen to Learn

In order to get to that point of understanding, though, you need to listen. Unfortunately, most people listen to respond, instead of listening to learn.

As a mentor, you have to be willing and able to listen to your mentee and really hear them. Try as hard as you can not to filter their words through your own experience—and who knows? Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two from them about life.

Again, the most successful mentors are those that aren’t afraid to expose their failures, understand where their mentees are coming from, and listen to gain that understanding.

Leslie WolgamottSurprising Keys to Being a Successful Mentor
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