Leaders can help themselves and their staffs by practicing the art of active listening. Here are some non-verbal skills to help.
- Use good eye contact to show you’re engaged and interested in what the other person is saying.
- Use your posture and hand movements to convey that the most important thing you’re doing is listening to your colleague.
- Avoid distractions. No phones, no computer, just a notepad to jot down important things.
- Think about the messages your physical setup sends. Sitting side-by-side sends a message about collaboration. Sitting across a desk sends one about rank. Standing or walking together implies collegiality.
- Depending on the nature of the conversation and the preferences of the people involved, you may want to set your coaching conversations in an office to avoid interruptions.
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