Editor’s note: I am at a retreat this week working on, among other things, my listening skills. As part of my preparation, I spent some of my “thinking time” thinking about how I can become a better listener. I encourage you to do the same.

Think: Now is a good time to think about How to Be a Better Listener. Don’t have time to read the article? Here’s a quick overview–check your assumptions, stay curious, suspend judgement, and know when you’ve had enough.

Think Again:  Think you’re an above average listener–think again. This article on What Great Listeners Actually Do can help you up your game. Who knows … you might actually become “above average.”

Think Empathetically: To truly listen, we must let others enter our inner life. It’s not an easy thing to pull off, but this article can help–especially if you’re an introvert.

Think Better: This TED talk by Julian Treasure offers 5 ways to listen better. It’s worth 7 minutes of your thinking time.

Heart-Centered Thinking: The leader of the future will need to approach employees, customers, and the general public with an open heart. To do so effectively, it helps to really listen to your heart.

Until next week: Don’t stop thinking about the future! But also never forget “It is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than think your way into a new way of acting“!