listeningIf you’ve ever been in a meeting or even a conversation and as you’re talking you’re noticing the other person is mentally checked out, that’s one thing but other times it’s not so easy to tell when they’re zoned out.

Business Insider talked to Nick Morgan, speech coach and author of Power Cues, for tips. He explained: “Our colleagues and fellow workers nod and smile a lot to show they’re listening, but it’s not really happening.” 

1. Eye contact is too fixed. When they’re trying too hard to show they’re focused on you, not only does their eye contact get too fixed, their heads get too still as well. Morgan pointed out a real conversation is relaxed and full of nods.

2. They smile too long. It’s like a perma-smile and you know it when you see it. They’re simply not paying attention.

3. They fidget. Look for cues: are they tapping their feet or playing with their hair? If they’re constantly moving in their seat, they’re not really focused on what you’re saying.

4. Their body isn’t turned toward you. Morgan mentioned in the piece if someone’s lower body is pointed away from you or if they’re leaning back as you’re talking, they’re creating physical distance. “Moving away is always negative,” he said.

5. They’re not mirroring your body language. Simply stated, they’re not in sync. They’re not connected to the conversation nor are they synchronized with slight body positioning and gestures.