How to improve "active listening skill"?

communication
New answer on Jun 04, 2021
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 03, 2021

It's important to demonstrate "active listening" in case interviews, as you need to probe into issues, clarify scopes, etc.

However, I'm wondering how to be "actively listening" at all times, including networking talks, daily business dialogues, etc. How to make a good balance between listening and talking? How could I make the dialogue more enjoyable / insightful, and demonstrate that I am actively listening and thinking smartly?

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 04, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

Listening skills are the foundation to build trust. You will have to adapt this for an interview setting vs real life (colleagues, clients etc). But the fundamentals remain same.

DOs

  • Take notes, dont miss keywords. Listen for whats different and not nceessarily whats familier (to you)
  • Drop preconceived ideas, beliefs and be open to what the interviewer is saying
  • Probe for clarification
  • Summarise well
  • Get rid of distractions i.e. your own mind chatter. Be present
  • Nod gently, maintain eye contact

DONTs

  • Interrupt
  • Respond too soon
  • Mimic the interviewer a lot e.g. Oh Yes, I faced something like that
  • Ask closed end questions
  • Try to get to solution too quickly

I recommend you get a copy of the book The Trusted Advisor by Charlie Green/David Maister. There is chapter on Art of Listening.

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 03, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I think Ken summarized it well. In essence, I recommend you:

  1. Stop thinking about what you need to or should say next. Rather just focus on the person talking
  2. Related to #1....care. Be genuinely interested in what they're saying
  3. Related to #1...be confident. If you're insecure and worried about how you're coming across, you don't think about them. Stop this! You are you. The rest doesn't matter (I know, easier said than done :) )
  4. Remove distractions - but that phone and other browser tabs away
  5. Take short/sharp notes. Literally 1 or 2 words at a time. Circle things. It helps you register what they're saying, then you can use the light notes to guide your response
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Ken
Expert
updated an answer on Jun 04, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

1. Take notes

2. Synthesise what you have understood and build off what you hear

3. Ask relevant open (not closed)-ended questions that deepens the conversation

(edited)

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 04, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I recommend to Listen attentively without thinking about what saying next, Pause before replying, make Question for clarification and Paraphrase with you own word

Best,
Antonello

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Adi gave the best answer

Adi

Content Creator
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience
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