The power of listening, asking questions and summarizing

To be able to listen to other people is one of the best qualities a person can have. Most of the time people like to talk and to send information, while listening could be an option too. Through listening, you find out what the other person thinks, feels and needs. And you open them up for what you want to say.

How to perfect your listening skills

While you are listening, it is of the utmost importance you drop your agenda and act from the heart. This will create a genuinely felt connection with the other person. Listening from the heart means turning off your own thoughts; being patient and giving room to the other person to formulate his or her thoughts. Then, you truly start to hear what the other person is telling you.

 How to perfect your summarizing skills

Summarizing is the next step. By occasionally doing that, the other person feels validated, because you are mirroring his/her words. Ask for confirmation after your summary: ‘Is that correct?’ Again, you will be transmitting the message: ‘You’re okay.’

How to perfect asking questions

Asking questions is an important aspect of communication. Ask about the things the other person told you in his or her last sentence(s). You show interest and you get to know more about the needs, feelings, thoughts or doubts of the other person. Be aware not to fill in for the other, by voicing your own interpretations. 

 Result

The good thing is that through listening, asking questions and summarizing, you create a safe and trusted climate. The other person feels validated: ‘I am okay.’ In return, this will open up the other person for your message: ‘I’m okay. So, you’re okay!’

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