by Mary Cantando, Founder of The Woman’s Advantage, Guest Contributor

Even if you find a conversation boring or unpleasant, there is value in listening to what others are saying. Better listening can provide great results for both your personal and your business life.

Here are five steps that will help you become a better listener.

Five Steps to Becoming a Better Listener 

1. Park your phone and other devices when you enter a conversation.

This sends a message that you believe what is being said is important.

2. When it is your turn to listen…do just that.

Don’t just wait for your turn to talk.

3. Ask pertinent questions. 

There is no better way to prove that you are truly listening than by asking questions about the topic. Don’t use a question to change the direction of the conversation, be sure it follow up on something the speaker is saying.

4. Close your mouth.

Don’t take over the conversation because you think you have something more important to say. Try just listening for a while.

5. Don’t be judge and jury.

Be open-minded and approachable. Don’t enter a conversation with your opinion set in concrete. Come to each conversation with an open mind.