Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

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  • How to be a great listener:
  • Stay focused...make natural eye contact, don't judge, and be patient.
  • Really listen! Don't just think about what you're going to say next!
  • Ask open-ended questions to get an explanation and more details.
  • Good listening means good questions.
  • Open-ended questions are ones that start with Who, What, Where, When, Why & How.
  • Also, ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand what was said.
  • Be comfortable with periods of silence.
  • Paraphrase
  • Restate what was said in your own words to make sure you are both "on the same page".
  • "So, you're saying that...?" "It sounds like..."
  • Express the person's feelings back when you paraphrase. It helps them feel understood and that you paid attention to what was said.
  • Reflect & Summarize
  • Highlight the main points and try to tie everything together to recognize a theme in the conversation.
  • Listening helps to build trust- the foundation of a good relationship! Listening is a skill that can be learned and practiced.
  • Really listen and try to see things from another's point of view before sharing your own!
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