GUEST POST: The art of listening

This guest post from our newest guest blogger Niina Nuottamo helps us improve our communication skills by giving us valuable tips on how to become a better listener.

Woman sitting Jarosław Ceborski on

Photo credits: Jarosław Ceborski on

There is a human in front of you, looking for connection. The least you could do is put your device away, look them in the eye and give them your undivided attention. Maybe you already do this in your personal life (think of your friends, family and children). But it’s also very relevant and powerful in the business context, whether it’s a colleague who needs coaching or a potential client interested in your services.

Here are my 10 golden tips for more mindful listening:

  1. Be present: give your full attention to the person you are listening to
  2. Write notes: to record the message and helps you process what is being said
  3. Mirror back: “so what I’m hearing you say is that…” (gives them a chance to clarify further)
  4. Be open: to their words without your judgement or bias
  5. Give space: let them finish and only then offer your advice/suggestions (don’t interrupt!)
  6. Watch: for the nonverbal cues (body language, facial expressions)
  7. Avoid technology: laptops are not part of the conversation (unless you are using Skype etc to have the conversation)
  8. Feel: it’s not just about the words but about the emotions behind the words
  9. Read: is the person looking for advice/solution or just needs to download their thoughts?
  10. Needs: check whether your tips/advice/service is likely to meet their needs

Have I missed any important tips? Have you noticed any improvements in your inter-personal communication skills or business interactions after becoming a more attentive listener?



Niina Nuottamo Profile Photo

Photo credits Rudi Wells at

Niina Nuottamo, CMMP, is a Netherlands based medical writer and learning experience designer. She has worked in the medical communications field for over 15 years. She gives training on writing skills and is currently focusing on creating impactful learning experiences.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse on 9th February 2018. You can read the original article here.