Whether in business or personal relationships, the ability to listen carefully is one of the most important qualities of charming people.

If you listen carefully to what someone has to say, you are treating them with respect and show empathy.

In our society, the most successful people have a great sense of empathy towards others. It is a great part of our emotional intelligence which is considered as even more important as our actual IQ.

You don’t have to be the smartest guy in the room but only the guy who knows best how to connect to the smartest guys.

How to listen carefully

1. Listen without disrupting

Whenever you have a conversation with a person or in a group, stop thinking about other things and focus your entire attention to the person that is talking. Listen in complete silence and treat the speaker as the most important person in the room for that moment.
Act like a sponge that is sucking in all the information with great interest. Depending on the situation, you might also want to stop all current activities when someone is talking to you.
This is especially important when you go out with people. Imagine, you’re going out for dinner and at the dinner table, someone is constantly checking his phone while you are sharing your vacation stories.


2. Take a small pause before replying

This shows that you are carefully going through the information that the other person just provided. You show that you value the information and it arouses the feeling of importance in the speaker. By delaying your reply, you also minimize the risk of interrupting someone. Sometimes people just take a small pause before they continue their story. If you start to reply right away, it shows that you haven’t really listen carefully but instead, prepared your answer the entire time. It shows disrespect and makes you less attractive.


3. Ask questions

Questions are a great way to clarify information and reinforces that you are a great listener. It gives the speaker the sense of safety and that his information is valuable to others.
By asking “what do you mean?”, “Could you maybe expand on this?”, etc., you are also making him feel more important because he can build on his previous thoughts.
Many people believe that the speaker is usually in control but actually, the person that asks the most questions have great power over the conversation. Because in that moment, the speaker is focused entirely on answering the question which makes it difficult to steer the conversation at the same time. You can often observe that during talks when people start to ask questions in between. At this point, the speakers usually loses control and often needs a bit to get back on track: “Where was I again?”.


4. Put the information into your own words

Paraphrasing is another great technique that demonstrates that you are a great listener.
By putting things into your own words and feeding them back to the speaker, you are basically proofing that you were 100% engaged in the conversation. Strengthen this ability by combining with 3) Asking questions. “So you said you were doing this and learned this. But what do you think …”