If you’re going to listen, showcase your eagerness to drink in every word. Monitor your body language so that you signal your interest. Here’s how:
Stay still. If you’re fidgeting, nodding excessively or rocking in your chair, you appear impatient. Keep your back straight and don’t tilt your head or bury it in your hands. Look alert and you reassure others that you treat what they say seriously.
Ask a question—then crave an answer. When someone starts answering your inquiry, keep silent while maintaining eye contact. If you check your iPhone or seem distracted by something you see in the background, you lose your personal connection. Respondents will assume you don’t care about their answer.
Drop your hands. Keep them comfortably at your side (if you’re standing) or on an armrest if seated. Rubbing your eyes or scalp indicates you’re tired or preoccupied. And stroking your chin or pulling at your ears may seem mannered or distract the speaker.
Wait an extra second to respond. When the speaker stops, don’t jump in instantly. Pause to confirm it’s your turn. That prevents you from talking over others.