Ask anyone if he or she is good listener, and that person will invariably say yes.
However, research shows that most people overestimate their skills in this area.
How do you know if you’re a good listener? I assess listening skills when I interview candidates for employment by asking this question.
Ideal answers include, “I turn off my inner voice and focus on the person I’m listening to,” or, “I focus on that person’s words only.” Someone who does this probably has the traits of a good listener.
Many of us don’t do turn off our inner voices or focus on the person speaking, though. Instead, we exhibit the following behaviors that indicate we’re not paying attention:
1. You formulate your response to the speaker in your head. When you do this, you are no longer focused on what is being said, but how you’ll respond to it.
2. You tune the speaker out . Maybe you disagree with what is being said or what’s being said is boring, but this indicates that your mind is elsewhere.