(NOTE: My apologies if you read this the other day. I accidentally posted it out of order. It should make a bit more sense now :))
Posture. Leaning forward says “I’m invested in what you’re saying, I hear you.” Whereas leaning back can create an air of indifference. It doesn’t have to be an in-your-face forward listening posture, I’m all about respecting personal space. Even an inclined head can close the space between two people in an argument or conversation.
In certain situations, being mindful of body language also really helps me to focus on listening because it takes some extra concentration so I’m not as easily distracted. I may only be able to employ one or two of the body language cues, like making occasional eye contact while I’m slicing vegetables for dinner and leaning my head slightly forward as I listen to RJ weave tales of paving and asphalt glory (Note: this happens on the rare occasion that RJ is home when I am making dinner and our preschooler is occupied and our dog is not barking. It does feel a bit magical to have a decent conversation prior to 9 pm). It may seem like a lot of work at first, but over time it becomes second nature. Try one of these whole body listening cues out and let me know how it goes!