Shut Up and Be a Better Interviewer
September 15, 2009
If you’ve seen all of the tips for how to communicate effectively, you’ve likely seen a gem like “Ten Tips To Listen Better Than Ever” before. With tips like “repeat back what the person said”, “give visual clues that you’re listening” and “ask interesting follow up questions even if you think you understand”, it is like the writer is purposefully trying to get his or her adherents to annoy the you-know-what out of everyone around them.
Nobody wants to simply feel like they are being heard, they want you to actually have listened to what they said. If you are focusing on the correct body language or repeating statements back to make it seem like you are listening but you still aren’t, I don’t care if you nod your head at key points or can repeat what I said.
There is only one tip you need to use in order to be a better listener: Shut Up
You got that Joe Wilson and Kanye West?
It is too simple, right? Of course it is. That doesn’t mean shutting up isn’t difficult. In fact, it may be the most difficult thing you ever do. If you spend time in Corporate America long enough, you eventually become programmed to think about what you’re going to say next, not what the other person is saying. If we all focused on not saying a damn thing, we wouldn’t need lists of three, five, or fifteen tips to be successful.