One of the most important parts of positive communication skills is being a good listener. When you listen, a person feels cared about, important, heard, and loved. Being a good listener can help all your relationships achieve more depth and intimacy. That's why we are giving you an attainable goal each day this week to help you become a better listener.
#1 Ask Questions
When you ask people questions during a conversation, it shows that you are tracking what they are saying. You are telling them you want to know more. When you ask questions, a person feels like you are interested and engaged.
Asking open-ended questions will help the conversation flow better and take it to a deeper level.
So here are some examples of good questions to ask:
- "Tell me about work today" instead of "How was work?"
- "What is something you really like about that book you are reading?" instead of "How's that book?"
- "Tell me more about that so I can understand better" instead of "What?"
- "What were you feeling when that happened?" instead of "Were you scared?"
An open ended question forces a person to expand on what they are talking about and helps people get out of the 1 word answer trap. It shows you really want to hear what they have to say.
Check back all week for more intentional things you can do to become a better listener.
Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.