6. Learn to listen

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Maintain eye contact 👀

This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to show you’re engaged in a conversation. If you’re shy, anxious or uncertain, pick a spot near the eyes like the nose or try holding eye contact for four to five seconds at a time to begin with. Always resume your gaze when you glance away. You can also break up eye contact with gestures or nods that show you’re still engaged. 


Filter out distractions ✋

Be present and ready to respond. Put your phone away or mute your notifications. If you notice your mind wandering, wrench it back. When you get distracted, it can leave the other person feeling like you’re bored and don’t value their time or thoughts. 


Be open-minded 🧠

Don’t jump to conclusions or impose your own views on the other person. People can sense judgement, and when they do they usually either clam up or become defensive. Neither leads to productive conversation or feedback.


Visualise what the other person is telling you ✨

Rather than getting lost in words and long sentences, visualisation helps turn the information you’re receiving into a memory or story that’s easier to recall. 


Listen to what they say and believe them 👂

It’s no use asking for feedback if you’re going to reject it when it’s hard to hear or because it conflicts with your own views. Avoid taking feedback personally – see it as a stepping stone to self-improvement, rather than an attack on who you are.