“Do you have a few minutes to talk?”

t_work_desks_facing_sxchu_85964_8972_c_nelshael-com.jpgImagine this: it’s Monday, and a co-worker had a rough weekend with his family. He wants to talk about it. What to do?

On the one hand, I want to help out. I mean I’ve been there, I’ve had my tough times, and it’s nice when I’ve had someone to talk with. Not for hours, just long enough to get something off my chest.

But on the other hand, being a listener can be frustrating. I mean I try to be really helpful, I listen, I think about  the  problems, I give suggestions, but he doesn’t seem to be paying attention: he just keeps talking. Or he gets annoyed. And I’m thinking, “Why did you come ask me, if you didn’t want help?”

Let’s face it: we’re all likely to find ourselves on one side or the other of this conversation at some point. The next time you find yourself on the “listener” side, what do you do?

Try Supportive Listening. Eran Magen and I have created a simple and powerful method of listening that gives great support, while being “real” in a way that doesn’t leave the speaker saying “is there an echo in here?” Our next free workshop is coming up March 8th: feel free to join us.

Paul Konasewich
Supportive Listening

© 2008 Paul Konasewich

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