Why It’s Hard For Us To Hear People Out And What Happens When We Do It More

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tips for being a better listener

Source: 10’000 Hours / Getty

How do we encourage others to speak up?

Sometimes, the issue isn’t that we won’t listen, but rather that the other party doesn’t feel safe speaking up. So we asked Matthews what some neutral, non-judgmental phrases and questions are to get someone to open up. “Using open-ended questions is helpful when there is conflict in communication. Here are a few questions you can ask:

  1. Ask the person “How can I support you?”
  2. “Please help me understand what you are saying?”
  3. Repeat what the person is saying and ask them if you are understanding them correctly
  4. Ask the person if they have completed their statement before responding
  5. “I apologize for not listening; can you give me another opportunity to listen?
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