One cannot overstate the importance of listening.
And now that most are relegated to their own home offices, conversations happening through a screen, listening is more challenging than ever.
We are all very busy trying to control our appearance, our background, our environment, the kids screaming in the other room, the cat jumping on the desk to broadcast their behind, the email that just came in, the little red circle signaling that somebody just sent us a message – it might be important. And the most we can do is listening while waiting for our turn to speak.
Just being mindful of this very challenge can help you find ways to overcome it.
- Use the camera only if you can handle it, it is OK to keep it off.
- If you are on a two-screen setup, turn off the second screen. Maximize the app you use for the call, and shut down all other distractions (email and browser, in particular).
- Keep your hands off the mouse or trackpad.
- Take notes on a piece of paper.
- Use headphones.
- Apply coaching tactics such as asking open questions and mirroring, to keep yourself engaged and the other listened (you can find some very useful ideas in this past post).
We’ve got this!