By Rachel Schwarz
After many anticipatory weeks, it’s finally time to reveal Karen’s sixth and final tip for listening! We’ve already addressed the first five: nod, smile, paraphrase, look, and encourage. The last tip is crucially important because it will help you avoid MIScommunication: ask questions!
While paraphrasing and encouraging discussion, two of the other items on Karen’s Listening Checklist are powerful tools, asking questions continues to help clarify the underlying meaning of requests and statements. Asking questions can help ensure that all parties involved in a project or discussion understand exactly what is needed to guarantee a job well done.
Asking questions can also transfer over into your personal relationships. Inquiring deeper into a friend’s story will show that you care and want to be supportive. I know this has helped me focus on my friend’s good times and bad times.
Try and work on one of these listening tips each day or week until it becomes second nature. Then, keep adding one more! Before you know it, you’ll be a listening pro!
Listening is the most vital component of communicating.