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Freeze when you listen

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in Leaders & Managers

Q I tend to show impatience too easily when someone’s talking. I start frowning, wiggling my foot, shaking my head. How can I stop that?

A Strike a “mannequin” listening posture. Don’t move. While it’s fine to loosen your facial muscles to smile, nod or look sympathetic, spend most of the time in a frozen state of steely attentiveness. Maintain eye contact, of course, but don’t let yourself think “I’m so bored” or “I wish this person would shut up already.” Once such thoughts seep in, you’ll find it harder to hide your impatience.

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