How to be a better listener: This seemingly small tip could make all the difference

Breathe in. Breathe out.

A conversation (Christina Morillo/Pexels stock image)

Considering all the recent events swirling in the world around us, perhaps there’s never been a more important time to listen.

Listening doesn’t mean preparing your next response -- but truly listening, and hearing and internalizing the words being offered to you.

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Aaron Mondry, a Detroit-based journalist, gave an excellent tip that we thought was worth sharing, from a recent episode of “The Best Advice Show.”

Next time you’re in a conversation, Mondry said, after the person you’re talking to speaks, take a breath in and a breath out before responding.

This gives both parties some space to process what was just said, and allows the listener to respond in a more genuine way.

Listen to the full episode here:

“I think a lot of people, when talking, (or) when they’re listening to someone talk, they’re thinking of (the) next thing they can say instead of genuinely responding to what was just said to them,” Mondry said.

Spoiler alert: This can be really hard to do! Mondry himself admitted he could be better at it, and while chatting with podcast host Zak Rosen, they both struggled in the moment to allow themselves that pause for reflection.

Following this advice takes supreme discipline. But it’s a deep-listening strategy that sounds extremely effective -- even if you’re not perfect at it, or it takes some work. Putting in the effort is a great start.

Rosen, “The Best Advice Show" podcast creator and host, wants to hear from you next.

It doesn’t even have to be this deep; another recent episode offered a life-hack on how you should be sorting your silverware when you load the dishwasher. (It’s brilliant!)

To contribute some of your advice, drop Rosen a voicemail at 844-935-BEST. Leave your name and your tip, followed by your email address in case he has any follow-up questions.

He’s not so much interested in platitudes and truisms, but instead, looking for the specific, odd, uplifting, effective, real advice from you about how you make it through your days.

“The Best Advice Show" is a product of Graham Media Group. Download it wherever you listen to or access podcasts.