To the degree we are empathetic is to the degree we can be valuable. But most of us view openings in a conversation as a chance to tell, not listen.
We listen to respond, rather than to understand. Telling is more often the habit than listening. It isn't alignment or empathy we're really after, it's an audience, or checking off a 'to-do'.
This week practice being an audience, not finding an audience. Listen more. Instead of telling, ask for more. You just might grow your audience in the process.
- You said "_____", will you explain that a little more?
- Will you build on what you said about "_____?"
- Thank you for sharing, tell me more about "_____".
- I'd like to hear more of your thoughts on "_____".
- Great idea. Can you give me another idea on how we could approach "_____?"