Hi everyone. I’m Coach Leah here with Home Care Evolution, and on today’s Coach’s Corner, I’m gonna talk to you about how to be an effective, active listener using six simple tips. So why is this important? Why is it even important to actively listen? I mean, you know, we’re stuck with technology. We check our emails, we have pings from our phone. Every 30 seconds or so, we have people talking to us, phone calls coming in. Why is it important to actively listen with your team and with your referral partners as well as your clients? So I’m gonna get into that in a second. Now, before I do, I just wanna talk to you about what active listening is not.

Okay? So these are the active listening faux PAs. Do not, not look at the person that is talking to you. Eye contact is super important. Do not interrupt. And it’s funny because it’s like active listening. One-on-one you would think that people would understand, but we all are very excited to talk about what it is we’re interested in or how to relate to another person. So we’ll, we’ll butt in and we’ll say, oh yeah, that happened to me too. I remember when blah, blah, blah. Something like that is rude, and it doesn’t make it seem like you’re listening to what they had to say. And if the person is having a moment and you step in right away to give your 2 cents on what happened in your life, then you obviously haven’t listened to them all at all. And what will happen is that they’ll think it’s rude and they will lose trust in you.

Another act listening is thinking that whatever the person is saying to you is something that you need to take personally. So if they’re talking to you and they’re upset about something, it is so important that you check yourself to make sure that you say, okay, is this really about me or is it about them? So let me get into the six tips on how to actively listen with a lot more skill. Not that you’re not good at it already, but there’s always room for improvement. And even in me teaching this, I am constantly learning how to actively listen on a daily basis. So tip number one, like I mentioned, eye contact. Why is this important? We are human beings and connection is very, very important. And so if you’re on your cell phone, let me give an example here. Let’s pretend this is my cell phone, right? And so just looking up at you briefly, and yes, please continue what you were saying. How does that make you feel? Really probably not listened to. So make sure that you put your cell phone down, you look at them straight in the eye, and you nod your head sometimes, and that way you can connect with them better and they feel heard, seen and valued. That way, they develop more trust in you as a leader or even as in a colleague. Number two, check in with yourself.

As I mentioned when you check in with yourself, you are understanding that your reaction to what it is that they’re saying is very important, okay? Again, do not take what they’re saying personally. They need to vent or they need to express themselves. When you check in with yourself, it’s like you’re being responsible for your own feelings, your own emotions, and your own actions. And you’re allowing the other person, you’re giving them that space for them to fully express what it is that they need to express. Again, they see, they feel heard, seen, cared for, loved, honored, and they feel trust towards you. Tip number three is check in with the other person what’s actually happening. So were they late for a shift? And they’re trying to explain themselves what is their body language like? Is it one where you think they’re lying? Is it one that’s actually true? Are they feeling guilty about it? You know, really what? What I’m trying to say is with active listening, you are actively listening not only to their words, but also to their body language. Okay? So this is so important. How quickly are they breathing? Are they feeling stressed out? Do you see a hunch in their shoulders? Are they using their hands? You know, really quickly? Are they fidgeting with their hair? Are they biting their nails while they’re talking to you? All these things contribute to active listening. So have a look at that. Number four, ask open-ended questions. So rhetorical questions are great, but it’s not the best time to figure out, you know, what it is that the person is actually saying.

So when you ask open-ended questions and ask them how it made them feel, again, you are allowing them a space to feel seen, heard, and valued, cared for as well. Number five, don’t think about your agenda while they’re sitting there talking to you about how they were late for their shift and their car broke down, or maybe their, their son or daughter was sick that day and vomited all night. Do not think about how you need to organize the dinner that you have this evening. You know, what kind of cheeses should I put on the charcuterie report? This is not the time to, for you to think about this. It’s really important that you stay present in the moment and you listen to what they’re saying so that you can respond in your own manner afterwards and see what the best solution will be. And tip number six, stay quiet, zip it for 30 seconds, up to three minutes. I know that Nicole here at the office, she has a rule where when she knows that someone needs to vent, she will remain quiet for three minutes and really listen and understand the other person, actively listen, look at their body language, make them feel seen, heard, valued, cared for, loved all the things so that she can respond to them. So those are the six tips on how to actively listen more efficiently, and that’ll help you inspire your team. It’ll help you be a better leader. If you are a leader, it’ll help you be a better colleague and it’ll also help you in your personal life. I’ll see you again soon.