Active listing is an undervalued skill — and it’s more than just good manners. Focusing your full attention on the conversation can create a more pleasant, productive experience for everyone involved.
I also believe that in every conversation the right questions are that important, that is why I challenge myself as an interviewer, a moderator, a public speaker but also as a partner, a friend, a mother to always look for those better questions.
I think that an outstanding listener is not someone who is silent, but someone that asks questions that promote discovery and insight. I would even say good listening for me is a two-way dialogue, not a one-sided monologue.
Also be aware of trying to find the correct rhythm in the conversation. For me, as an ex dancer probably, feeling the rhythm of a conversation is key. Trying to synchronize the people around the table as a moderator is an important skill.
I try to be that kind of listener myself, who makes the conversation a positive experience for both parties. It is ok to give feedback, but think about how you offer it, make it smoothly and positive, do not try to contradict or correct the other person constantly.
Just like public speaking skills, listening is a skill that requires deliberate practice.
Listening, not only talking, is the gifted and great role for inspiring leaders.