Common mistakes we have all made during conversation:
- Thinking about what you’re going to say while the other person is still talking – Let the person know you are paying attention by responding in a thoughtful way. You can do this by waiting until they are done and asking great questions or acknowledging them.
- Interrupting the person before they are done talking – Look into the eyes of the person and give them your undivided attention. Wait until they are completely done talking before saying anything and hesitate when they are finished before proceeding. Everyone wants to be heard.
- Trying to “one up” the person by commenting about how your story/situation was even better/funnier/more compelling – This most certainly can make the other person feel de-valued. You can let them know you understand by simply stating “I sure know how you feel” (if you do) or commenting on how awful/scary/funny that must have been.
- Not being aware of your Body Language – Sitting up, looking at the person with your arms unfolded, shows interest. Lean forward, nod your head where appropriate and do not look around the room while they are talking to you. I once had a young lady that I was going to mentor who told me in advance that my body language was important to her (she had severe trauma in her past)
- Letting Cultural Barriers Get in the way – What if we have nothing in common? That is perfectly ok. It is a mistake to think that we have to be just like the other person or have a lot in common to be able to connect. For one thing, we can always learn something new from someone else.
>> Learn more at the webinar: Everyone Communicates but Few Connect
The bottom line is that we need to learn to be great listeners and communicate in a way that makes the other person feel valued. That is the beginning of effective communication. Register here to learn more.
Written by Patti Massullo