As organizers, we interact with a lot of people. Some days it can all seem a bit overwhelming, having to remember the details of so many conversations with different people.

But whenever we engage with anyone, we have to walk away with at least the main point of the conversation. Just because you heard someone’s voice, doesn’t mean you were paying attention to a lick of what they were saying. That’s why it’s important to be an active listener.

Active listening is the process of retaining not only the words that another person is saying, but, more importantly, trying to understand the complete message being sent. Here are a few simple practices to improve your active listening skills:

  • Summarize what is being said to you back. Do your best to repeat back the conversation. This is a direct way of indicating that you take what they’ve said seriously, and also a great way to make sure that you’re on the same page!
  • Don’t interrupt. You know how you’ll never comprehend someone if you’re constantly cutting them off or interrupting their train of thought.
  • Be understanding. Be forward, direct, and honest about how you received the message, but ensure to respond in a way that treats others the way you’d want to be treated.
  • Practicing this skill can help you build stronger relationships and get your goals accomplished more effectively.

How do you make sure you are taking away the right information from conversations? Share in the comments!