When there’s an ongoing discussion about the new business rules, you first need to hear what the product owners have prepared for you and your team. Your group is required to properly get what they’re saying, jot down notes and ask pertinent questions, or else the application that will be built won’t match what they imagined and time will be wasted in making revisions.
When a colleague asks for your help on something important, you either pause what you’re doing or you finish it first before the two of you start tackling the problem. That or, if you can’t listen immediately because you have pending tasks, ask her to come back another time. It’s irritating when she’s still busily working on another thing while you share what’s on your mind. Pretending to hear what the other person is saying is even worse.
Listening helps everyone. Misunderstandings will be avoided, messages will be delivered clearly. Not paying attention or faking it, on the other hand, just tells us that you really don’t care. So please, listen. With focus. With intent. With your heart into whatever the conversation is about.