A lot of being a good active listener is about using judgment. And I can't teach everyone the best judgment for every situation. And course like this, you're going to have to apply your own judgment based on the situation. If your boss pops into your office or comes over to you and you're part of the workspace and says, I'm late for a plane, I've got to get a cab or an Uber in two minutes. Really important. I need you to do these three things and you can tell your boss is not looking for a big in depth conversation, your boss, he or she is just trying to communicate a couple of really specific urgent things.
Then shake your head when you've got it. If there's any uncertainty, ask one really specific question perhaps as you're getting up to walk with them to the elevator. But there are other times when it's not quite as urgent. you're seated. It's a meeting. It's something important There's no set agenda when everyone has to leave.
You've already listened to the key points. You've already expressed some sympathy, you've perhaps taken notes. But now, it is perfectly fine to ask questions. But let me challenge you when it comes to your questions. Are you asking these questions to just show the person and others in the room how smart you are? If so, most people are pretty quick to figure that out.
And if you look like you're trying to look smart, you're not gonna look smart. You need to ask questions because you genuinely want that person's insights. That's the best way to ask a question and make sure it's about trying to get greater clarity of what this person is trying to convey to you. It's not about bringing in your own agenda. It's not about showing people how smart you are It's not really to make a point, showing you disagree with a person and a rhetorical question. It's not a question to make them look stupid or bad or Ill prepare, to question to really try to dig deeper into what their meaning is.
You do that and it's going to strengthen your abilities to be a keen listener.