“Good Listeners Are Like Trampolines”
We tend to think that being a good listener means being a sponge absorbing as much information as possible, but the Harvard Business Review suggests that this is not the best analogy.
After examining data analyzing a range of listening traits, the researchers found that being a good listener is more about the type of feedback than just listening quietly:
While many of us have thought of being a good listener, like a sponge that accurately absorbs what the other person says, instead, these results show that good listeners are like trampolines. This is someone you can push ideas away from – and instead of soaking up your ideas and energy, they reinforce, energize, and clarify your thinking. They make you feel better by not only passively absorbing but actively supporting you. This will allow you to gain energy and growth as if you were jumping on a trampoline.
So, remember: if you want to listen better, be sure to pay attention to the interlocutor and interact with him.
What Great Listeners Really Do | Harvard Business Review