As a chaplain, I have met so many wonderful and interesting people. After I introduce myself, I often ask, “how are you today?” Based on their response, I try to let them lead the conversation. I will often repeat back a few words, paraphrase, or lift-up the underlying emotion I am sensing. I find this helps me from wanting to interject some thought or story which has been triggered in my mind by what they have shared.
Try out the “Listening Exercise” that is linked to the Listening tab. When I did this exercise years ago it changed how I listened and changed my life. I find now, as I am listening, I am more able to listen to what they are saying and less preoccupied by wanting to jump in with my stories and solutions. It’s a whole lot easier for me to listen these days than when I thought my role in listening was to fix things.
© David Tillman, 2020, www.lifesjourney.us, all rights reserved