By: Nour El Shafie
We all want to be heard when we speak. We all have something to say. So, how can our story be heard?
Here’s the magic trick: wait until everyone is done with their story and then begin talking about yours. If you speak first, people are likely to zone off into their thoughts because they’re eager to start telling their story. But it’s not enough to just be quite until everyone is done with their story. You need to show genuine interest. If the person talking is self-centered then they’ll love talking about themselves, and when you provide people with the things they love, they’ll love having you around!
However, take care there’s a difference between being a good listener and sucking up to someone. Listen and show interest without praising the person in front of you. On the other hand if the person talking is insecure and not comfortable about talking about themselves they’ll appreciate it if you took the time to listen to them and they’ll enjoy being around you. So it’s a win-win situation. They will enjoy your company and you’ll become more likable. But, being a good listener doesn’t mean nosing around into everyone’s business. Don’t approach too many people. You may come off a person who just loves to listen to the latest gossip.
Anyway, here the recipe (in no specific order):
1. Recite their emotions, if someone is telling you about something their excited about, get excited for them (or at least put the effort to pretend). If someone is talking about something that makes them happy, smile. If someone is upset, sigh and frown slightly.
2. Mirror their body language
3. Ask them “why?” If they’re talking about things they did
4. Ask them how they feel about the situation
5. Keep eye contact throughout most of the conversation but, make sure you’re not staring at the person too much so it doesn’t come off as creepy.
6. Rephrase what they say. This will help you pay attention and will give the person in front of you the impression that you’re focused.
“It ended quickly but I wouldn’t take it back”
“So you enjoyed it while it lasted”