It’s pretty easy to tell when a person has stopped listening to you, isn’t it? They look at their watch. They close up their laptop. They grab their coat.
That doesn’t feel very good, does it?
I’ve done it plenty myself to people. Now, I might not grab my coat but I lots of times I have sat there and tried to figure out what I am going to say next. But I know the truth about doing this too. It is hard to listen effectively while thinking about what I will say next. I can do both, but just not very well.
Clergy coach Val Hastings says, “Listening is so important in coaching and mentoring. All coaching begins with listening. We are listening for all sorts of clues and subtleties.”
Sometimes when I am talking with my wife Jennifer she doesn’t initially respond with her thoughts. Instead, she says, “Tell me more.”
I have been trying this lately. After a person seems done with his thoughts on a particular issue I pause a few seconds and then say, “Tell me more.”
And almost always there is more. Not long ago one person shared something very significant when I said, “Tell me more.” I could tell right then that not very many people in life have listened long enough for this guy to really get out what he has to share.
Try it. After a person is finished telling you something say, “Tell me more” Or you could put it in the form of a question: “What more would be helpful for me to hear?”