The key to better working relationships

It can be challenging to be a good listener. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our thoughts that we ignore what the other person is saying. Other times, we’re just waiting for our turn to talk. But being a good listener is essential – it can make you better at your job and improve your relationships. So how can you become a better listener? Here are some tips.

Pay attention to the person you’re talking to

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of paying attention when engaging in conversation — business or otherwise. People want to be heard and noticed, so focusing on their individual needs and preferences is critical when speaking with them. Ask yourself, how can I help this person? What is their main message?

Focus on following the other person’s story: listen for clues about what words and phrases will resonate most with them. Use those words in your responses, mirroring the other person’s vocal tone and energy level. Doing so builds trust by showing that you’re present, interested in the conversation, and taking their opinion into account while building a business relationship. When I’m speaking with a Canadian, I automatically revert to a Canadian accent. When I speak with my immigrant friends, I speak in a way that best connects to them.

Lastly, show gratitude by thanking the person for sharing their thoughts; making the person feel appreciated is an easy way to ensure a lasting business connection. For example, you could say, “I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me. It’s given me a lot to think about.”

Paying attention during conversations may seem like an obvious skill, but it must not be overlooked if business relationships are to thrive. Giving somebody else your undivided attention can go a long way toward creating mutual understanding. By focusing your energy solely on whoever you are talking with, you can create meaningful business relationships that will lead to successful deals throughout your career. Just remember to take some time before any business venture to pay attention to the person across from you — it could make all the difference!

Don’t interrupt them

In business, it’s important to show respect for those with whom we interact. One way to demonstrate this respect is to avoid interrupting them while they’re speaking. Interrupting someone not only undermines the speaker’s authority and communicates that their opinions don’t matter but can also lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and long-term resentments. Let the speaker finish their thoughts before adding your comments or business ideas whenever possible. It’s also important to be aware of nonverbal cues like body language and facial expressions, indicating when someone is done talking and ready to hear your opinion. Overall, showing consideration for the other party by refraining from interrupting them during business interactions can go a long way toward building trust and strengthening business relationships in the long run.

I worked with someone in the past that constantly interrupted me. It was frustrating because they were more interested in the sound of their own voice than in listening to anything I had to say. Try to avoid that type of behavior.

Avoid distractions, like checking your phone or computer

In today’s digital world, getting distracted by the constant flow of notifications, alerts and emails that fill our screens can be all too easy. Whether attending an important business meeting or trying to work productively, distractions like checking your phone or computer can disrupt your focus and detract you from listening carefully. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to stay focused. These include setting clear objectives, laying out a plan of action, turning off any non-essential notifications on your devices, and ensuring that all distractions are kept away while speaking to someone or attending meetings – so as not to risk missing vital business connections and losing focus. By taking these simple steps, you can make sure you remain distraction-free and productive.

Even though I work with clients over video-conferencing, I can easily tell when a student reads an e-mail or responds to a message while I speak. Distractions are a part of business life, just try to minimize those distractions as much as possible.

Repeat back what the other person said to make sure you understand them

To help clear up confusion and make sure everyone understands what is being said, it is important to repeat back to the other person what they said to you. This shows that you are paying attention and actively listening, as well as demonstrating your understanding of the conversation. By repeating back the speaker’s words, you can also test how well they have been understood and get clarity on ambiguous topics. It’s also a valuable technique to signal that it’s time for the other person to explain their perspective more deeply or provide additional information. Rephrasing someone’s words both verifies comprehension and allows for more profound exchange. Ultimately, this will result in better business decisions when all parties involved fully understand the situation and each other.

An example of this would be, “just to clarify, your point is that we should move away from a 40-hour work week. Did I understand you correctly?”

Show interest in what they’re saying by nodding and asking questions

In business, showing your colleagues respect and genuine interest in what they are saying is essential. One of the best ways to do this is by using non-verbal cues, such as nodding and asking pertinent questions. Not only does this demonstrate that you’re actively listening, but it also encourages them to keep talking. In many cases, simply nodding while they talk can move business conversations along faster and smoother. Furthermore, when appropriate, many small follow-up questions can show you understand what they are saying while allowing them to continue speaking. This technique is especially useful in business negotiations or when trying to understand a client’s needs. Showing genuine interest through verbal and non-verbal cues ensures successful business relationships and helps to strengthen working bonds between colleagues.


Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. Not only does it make you a more effective communicator, but it also shows that you care about the person you’re talking to. The best way to become a better listener is by joining my Speaking Mastery course. In this six-week online class, you’ll learn how to pay attention to the person you’re speaking to, avoid distractions, and repeat back what they said so you can be sure you understand them. You’ll also learn to ask questions and show interest in what they say. With these new skills, you’ll be able to build better relationships with the people around you and increase your business outcomes. Register now and become a better listener today!

I’ve been working with Jorge for almost 2 years. I am grateful to Jorge, because of him I’ve improved my English. I can maintain my fluency as if I was living in an English country and last but not least he gives more than an English lesson, he gives you communication skills, and he is always ready to help you at any moment. Jorge for President!

Steve Muller

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