I love the examples of open-ended questions Teri gave yesterday. The examples were simple and easy to see how the change in asking a question could change the direction of a conversation. While it's important to ask questions to let someone know you're listening to them, there are many other factors involved in communication. One of these factors doesn't include speaking at all.
#2 Body Language
There's nothing more uncomfortable than speaking to someone who's giving you all the signals that they'd rather be somewhere else, without even saying it, right?
This is why body language is very important! Making eye contact during a conversation tells the other person "I'm hearing what you're saying".
Most likely while we're making eye contact with this other person we'll start nodding our head while we're listening as well. This is more confirmation for the other person that we're following them in the conversation.
As a bonus, lean in towards the person as they speak (don't invade personal space!), or smile (when appropriate!) as a way to confirm you're hearing them as well.
Lastly, pay attention to your arms.....are they relaxed on your sides/laying in your lap? Or are they folded across your chest? The placement of our arms can give the message of "tell me more" or "I don't like what you're saying".
We hope these pointers help you in your communication with friends and loved ones alike in your life. We have many more tips to share with you this week. Thanks for reading!
Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.