The Star (Kenya) - - News Business -

Some peo­ple equate good lis­ten­ing

with sit­ting silently, nod­ding, mak­ing eye con­tact, and, when the speaker is done, para­phras­ing what you heard. But these things are only part of what makes some­one feel that you heard them. The best lis­ten­ers go deeper by try­ing to un­der­stand the sub­stance of what the other per­son is say­ing.

Do­ing this re­quires that you

ask ques­tions to clar­ify your un­der­stand­ing and push the other per­son to bet­ter ar­tic­u­late their po­si­tion, ex­am­ine any as­sump­tions they’re mak­ing, and see the is­sues in new light. You should also try to em­pathise with and val­i­date any emo­tions the speaker is con­vey­ing.

Once you’ve made sure the per­son

feels sup­ported, you can of­fer some thoughts and ideas about the topic that could be use­ful to the other per­son. Just be care­ful not to hi­jack the con­ver­sa­tion.

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