3 things that make you a great listener

Although when having a conversation you are tempted to unfold your virtues and… successes, there’re situations when you make a better impression when you keep your mouth shut. There are some things that can make you a great listener and come in handy when you want to provide support.

3 of them are:

Focus on the person, not the problem at hand

Often a person under pressure just wants to simply share whatever is on their mind. Obviously you can’t have an answer to all problems but you can have all the elements of a supportive listener. In other words, your interlocutor doesn’t (necessarily) expect you to provide them with a solution. After all, they know the situation better than anyone and are able to find the solution themselves. In fact, even trying to give a piece of advice may make the person before you misunderstand you and consider it an extra burden.

Ask open-ended questions

In order for a discussion to be long and interesting, you should avoid single-word questions. Especially ones that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. Instead, you can intelligently guide the conversation with the right questions to help your interlocutor find the other end of the thread. After all, your goal is not to be a detective but to provide support and help raise morale.

Mirror everything you hear

Often your interlocutor enters a process of unfolding his thoughts in a disorderly manner. The negative attitude alone is capable of pulling a person down to the bottom instead of giving him a lifeline. A smart tactic is the application of reflective listening, i.e. confirming everything you hear. For example, if the interlocutor tells you, “I’m very sad and angry”, you can reply and remark, “You do look upset”. This way, you reinforce the fact that you understand what’s being said and follow your interlocutor’s thinking.


How should we manage our memories?

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