How to Be an Effective Listener

Are you tracking the conversations you have with your team members?


Robbi Crawford—professional mentor, sociologist, speaker and author—shares several actionable ways leaders can improve their listening skills.

“To become an effective listener, I believe it's very important to learn how to track a conversation,” says Robbi.

Watch the video to learn Robbi’s conversation-tracking techniques that will enable you to become a more effective listener.

To become an effective listener, I believe it's very important to learn how to track a conversation. And for me, that might be part of my coaching—some of my coaching tools that I learned are learning how to track and go where students tend to go when they are talking, right? Listening very carefully to the words that they use is very important too.

Being present. One thing that's very, very, very important to me is to be present when I'm talking to a student. It's so easy for our minds to wander, and we're thinking about, "What am I going to say next?" And I have practiced, over the years, learning to sift all of that out and just really zero in on that person as if they're the only person in the world, and they're the most important thing I need to be paying attention to. That helps tremendously to be present in that way with them, and not just to listen to what they're saying, but to watch eye movement and body language and where their hands are and whether they're slouching or they're sitting forward.

And as I'm talking to them throughout the conversation, I'm watching as how their bodies are shifting, right, and how they're moving. And I may even say something about it. "Did you notice when you said that, you kind of relaxed a little bit?" And they're like, "Really?" "Yes, so tell me about that. Why do you think that happened?" And that's another conversation. It's so much fun. My god, I love it.
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Robbi Crawford

Robbi Crawford, Professional Mentor, Sociologist, Speaker and Author, is a former college professor and fierce advocate of today's college student. She's the founder of BrijBrand, an inward-bound hub of services and products designed ...

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