When others are speaking, it’s easy for your thoughts to wander. Suddenly you may realize you don’t remember what was just said. Mindful listening keeps you present in the moment. It enables you to better understand what people are saying, physically and emotionally. So you engage in richer, more meaningful communication.
• Before your next conversation, spend a few moments to clear your mind with long, thoughtful breaths.
• As the person talks, listen intently, noticing not only the words, but the inflections and mannerisms.
• Focus on understanding all that’s being communicated to you, instead of simply reacting.
Mindful listening yields tangible rewards: According to a 2007 study published in the Academy of Management Journal, employees are less likely to offer helpful suggestions and new ideas when they believe their bosses don’t listen to them.
Watch Thich Nhat Hanh go into more depth on mindful listening with Oprah.