The next three steps in this series on having great conversations focus on listening and content. If we can focus on listening to the other person it takes our mind away from self-criticism and lowers anxiety.
Pacing beliefs and behaviour
We all do things that we know aren’t helping us but if in a conversation this is pointed out to us, it can break rapport or set the rapport building back to square one. Trying to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and understand the perspective of the person we are speaking to is more likely to help them to open up and trust us. If we do not immediately offer suggestions and really listen with our two ears then it is more likely they will be able to open up and trust us. It’s called entering the other person’s ‘model of reality’.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey.
A combination of active listening; really listening with full attention, and reflecting back. It is important to reflect back not only what you have heard as words but also what you can ‘hear’ of the emotional content. For example, ‘So your Mum’s not been well, it sounds like that has been quite stressful for you, at the moment’ or ‘I can see that that was a really big deal for you’
You can demonstrate your interest in another person by asking questions about them. It takes the pressure off us too!
The final instalment of this blog will appear in a few days time.