I recently heard a TED Talk about listening. As opposed to hearing, real listening involves paying attention to whom you’re talking to. Appreciating what they are saying. Then following up by summarizing what they have said or asking a question regarding what was said. This is different to hearing someone talk while you are thinking about what you want to say which is common for those affected by ADHD and others.

Real listening is an energetic and compassionate act because people want to be truly listened to and heard. Conversations are not a race. Instead, conversations are made up of dialogue that is an exchange of ideas and/or opinions among two or more people.

When you feel listened to ask yourself “what is the listener doing while I am speaking?” Observe what the other person is doing. Notice their body language, eye movement and any sounds they are making. You will begin to notice that some people are better listeners than others. Try mirroring what the other person was doing while you were speaking when they are speaking, if they are a good listener.

The more you give off signs of listening, the more likely people will reciprocate in listening actively and compassionately to you. It is nice to be heard.