Everyone thinks they are smart but what truly makes someone smart according to psychotherapist and career coach Jenny Maenpaa is “being a good listener”.
Being a good listener, a skill also known as active listening, is when a person can sit quietly, pay attention to what the other person is saying and let them talk without any interruptions holding back your own questions and thoughts is a sign of high intelligence.
In an interview with international media, Maenpaa said, “Active listening is when someone can listen to you at length, truly taking in what you’re saying, and not interrupt,
“Active listeners respond with questions because they are genuinely curious about what you’re saying. They can hold their questions in their mind until you finish instead of interrupting to clarify or to share a thought they had just because you reminded them of it.”
According to a 2020 University of Southern California report, many professionals believe that they’re active listeners, but 70% of them exhibit poor listening habits in the workplace, resulting in misunderstandings and damaged friendships.
Research shows that when you pay attention to someone, you activate the prefrontal cortex of your brain, the area responsible for decision-making, attention, and other complex cognitive behaviours.
This strengthens these areas, improving not only your communication skills, but your focus, concentration, problem-solving, and more.
While many people are naturally gifted with this trait, others can develop it with practice, such as by maintaining eye contact, not fidgeting while talking, letting the other person finish, and asking questions once the other person is done talking.