When was the last time you sat down and gave your full attention to another human being? Not checking your phone, wondering how long this conversation would last, or figuring out in your brain the next clever thing you’re going to say or advice you’re going to give.

Just sitting. Listening.

It’s a gift of kindness I know I don’t give nearly enough, but I certainly always notice and appreciate when it’s given to me.

Becky Harling is the author of the book, “How to Listen So People Will Talk” and she has some amazing insight on the ways in which we do and don’t listen well.

Her book includes a listening survey and I’ve gotta tell you, it reminded me that I’ve got some work to do if I really want to show kindness through listening.

I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Becky for The Kindness Podcast and got some awesome tips for working through tough situations like navigating gossipy conversations, walking a friend through grief, and building stronger bonds with the ones we love who often get only half of our attention.

You can listen to Becky’s great advice in Episode 17 of The Kindness Podcast on iTunes, NPR or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

Be sure to also sign up for her free Five Day Active Listening Challenge!