While in a conversation, play First Letter, Last Letter, an active listening exercise.
The rules are simple: the first letter of the first word you say has to start with the last letter of the last word the other person just said.
As an example:
Person A: “Hey, did you finish those TPS reports?”
YOU: “Sure did, they’re right here.”
Person A: “Great, I think you deserve a raise.”
YOU: “Every day is just a pleasure to work here.”
Person A: “Oh, you are quite the stellar coworker.”
YOU: “Ready for the truth? It’s because you’re such a great leader.”
Not only can this keep you entertained in a boring conversation, it actually improves your active listening skills. So often we listen just long enough to get an idea of what the other person is talking about and then we start to prepare our response, while they are still talking.
This is “listening to respond.” Instead, it’s better to “listen to understand” where you’re really trying to comprehend everything the person is communicating.
First Letter Last Letter forces you to listen to a person’s entire sentence before responding.
Note: The other person doesn’t have to know you’re playing the game, though they may want to join the fun.