Are you actively listening and communicating?

Imagine if you went to your doctor, and after you explain your symptoms, they simply say, “Ok, mmhmm, got it,” without saying back anything as they walk out. This would be very disrespectful, especially after you’ve invested time into trying to be thorough.
We’ve seen this the most in written form- emails, text messages, etc., where we’ll write a thoughtful, personalized message and only get an “Ok.” or “Got it.” back. It leaves you to think “What is it that you ‘got’? Are we on the same page?”
Do you know doctors mirror things back? It’s not just for your sake, to show that they listened to you and understand, but also for theirs– structuring what they’ve learned about you and ensuring a mental checklist of items for them to review, while also providing an error-checking mechanism just in case they missed something or aren’t sure they heard you– which could mean dire consequences. This is true for us, too- as we’ve seen many things go off-course due to one small miscommunication.
This doesn’t mean blindly mirroring back everything you just heard. This is tedious to both parties and will quickly become cumbersome. You must focus on the important elements like:
  • Maintain ownership of your actions. When you forego active communication, the dreaded passive voice often takes its place.
  • When requested to do something, outline your next steps. EG: “Would you please plant a garden?” leads to “I will grab my tools and seed bag and get started.”
  • Stay on topic, and use clear, concise language. Don’t rapidly switch to something irrelevant, as this often derails a conversation, confuses everyone, and makes you look distracted or uninterested.
You will be amazed at what knowledge you retain and connections you build once you shift into actively communicating. You will build personal connections and drive things forward– Be less mindless robot and more professional human. 
Dennis Yu

About the Author

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is the Chief Executive Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company that partners with schools to train young adults. Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise to manage social campaigns for enterprise clients like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone.

He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken in 17 countries, spanning 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit. Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, CNN, Fox News, and CBS Evening News.

He’s a regular contributor for Adweek’s SocialTimes column and has published in Social Media Examiner, Social Media Club, Tweak Your Biz, B2C, Social Fresh, and Heyo. He held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines and studied Finance and Economics at Southern Methodist University as well as the London School of Economics. He ran collegiate cross-country at SMU and has competed in over 20 marathons including a 70-mile ultramarathon.

Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you.

You can contact him at