Dr. Maynard Brusman - Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Dr. Maynard Brusman - Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership
San Francisco, CA
Saturday, March 18, 2023


9 Ways to Improve Your Active Listening Skill

Active listening is an important skill that a leader needs to have and practice. 

By being an active listener, you can make better decisions, strengthen your relationships with your team, clients, or customers, and also spot opportunities that you might otherwise miss. 

Active listening requires the listener to absorb information, comprehend the message, and retain the information conveyed by the speaker. While practicing active listening, you should pay close attention to the speaker's non-verbal cues (behavior, body language) to gain a full understanding of their message. 

Here are 9 ways you can improve your active listening skill. 

1. Be the last to speak

If you truly want to learn about other people's opinions, just sit back and really listen to what everyone is saying. Try not to show judgment or react throughout the conversation. You will be amazed at how much you can learn when you let others lead the conversation. 

2. Focus on them, not yourself

Listening is not about you. You cannot actively listen to what others are saying when you are too busy figuring out what you're going to say. You should not interrupt or finish the other person's sentences. Stop worrying about how to defend yourself from having your opinions validated, your main focus should be on the other person. 

3. Maintain eye contact

When another person is speaking, make sure that you are giving them your undivided attention by maintaining eye contact, instead of checking your phone or computer. You can provide non-verbal cues that you are listening, such as nodding your head or leaning in, but eye contact is the most important component of active listening. Maintaining eye contact for 4-5 seconds each time throughout the conversation helps you display interest and confidence. 

If you are doing this virtually, make sure that the other person can see your full upper body, not just your face. This allows them to see your hand gestures throughout the interaction. When it comes to maintaining "digital eye-contact" try to look into your camera, instead of just looking at your screen. 

4. Listen to non-verbal cues

In order to fully understand the message that the other person is trying to convey, you also have to pay attention to the other person's non-verbal cues. Non-verbal communication such as body language, facial expressions, actions, or inaction is often as important as the message itself. By paying attention to the speaker's non-verbal cues, you can gain clues on how the person is truly feeling and their honest reaction to certain topics — this will help you gain a deeper understanding of the situation. 

5. Withhold your judgment

Active listening requires you to welcome new perspectives, ideas, and have an open mind. Even when you have strong opinions on certain issues, try to suspend your judgment and pay attention to what the other person is saying first, without criticizing or arguing. You are there to listen, absorb and think rather than instantly respond.

6. Verify your understanding

Try to summarize and restate what you are hearing to verify your understanding. Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for clarification.

You can say something like "Let me know if I got this right. Are you saying that…" or "I'm sorry, I didn't follow you, can you repeat or elaborate on that"?

The person will most likely add something you missed, or clarify a point that you might have interpreted differently. The best way to verify your understanding is to paraphrase what they've said in your own words without any judgment.

7. Ask open-ended questions

Active listening puts emphasis on asking questions, rather than telling or making assumptions. You can try asking open-ended questions to encourage the other person to share more of their thought processes and opinions with you, so that you can gain a complete understanding of what they are saying. 

You can ask questions like "Can you elaborate on that"? What kind of solutions have you tried?", "What do you think about….". 

8. Ask for permission to share your thoughts

After fully understanding what the other person is saying, it can be a good idea to ask for permission to share your thoughts on the topic. Once they agree, provide them with your own suggestions, ideas, and thoughts on the issue. 

As a leader or a coach, it is important that you don't dictate a solution. What you can do instead is to ask further questions that can help them think from different perspectives, guide them, and offer ideas. 

9. Recognize the contribution of others

People often overlook the importance of giving recognition to other people's contributions. Even if there is no real value, thank the person for their time and input. It's important to acknowledge the person's effort, ideas, and actions — especially for leaders. 

Now that you understand the value of active listening in leadership, it's time for you to practice it yourself.

"The most important conversation is the kind and loving conversation you have with yourself each day. Take a pause, breathe and listen deep within yourself."

Lead with Love


Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach

Trusted Leadership Advisor

Emotional intelligence and Mindful Leadership Consultant

San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond!






Transformational leaders can create a full engagement culture driven by purpose and passion by working with an executive coach and culture change expert. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your personal-development capabilities.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put positive leadership into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders, who need to build a company culture built on trust? Transformational leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I a transformational leader who inspires individuals and organizations to achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help leaders create a culture where respect and trust flourish.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture mindful conversations in the workplace. You can become an inspiring leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching and Mindful Leadership Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Develop, Coach, Engage and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders who produce results.

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach|
Trusted Leadership Advisor
Mindfulness & Emotional Intelligence Workplace Expert

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies develop and grow emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Are you an executive leader who wants to be more effective at work and get better results?

Did you know that research has demonstrated, that the most effective leaders model high emotional intelligence, and that EQ can be learned? It takes self-awareness, empathy, and compassion to become a more emotionally intelligent leader. 

Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders inspire people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of their company.  Mindful leadership starts from within.

I am a consulting psychologist and executive coach. I believe coaching is a collaborative process of providing people with the resources and opportunities they need to self manage, develop change resiliency and become more effective. Utilizing instrumented assessments - clients set clear goals, make optimal use of their strengths, and take action to create desired changes aligned with personal values.

I have been chosen as an expert to appear on radio and TV, MSNBC, CBS Health Watch and in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time and Fast Company.

Over the past thirty-five years, I have coached hundreds of leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness.

After only 6 months, one executive coaching client reported greater productivity, more stress resiliency, and helping her company improve revenues by 20%. While this may depend on many factors most of my clients report similar satisfaction in their EQ leadership competence leading to better business results.

You can choose to work with a highly seasoned executive coach to help facilitate your leadership development and executive presence awakening what’s possible. 

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com

Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com
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Name: Dr. Maynard Brusman
Title: Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Group: Working Resources
Dateline: San Francisco, CA United States
Direct Phone: 415-546-1252
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