May 9, 2010

Let Your Listener Be!

Asking too many questions can actually distance you from your listener. Think of how you react to people who ask a lot of questions, versus how you respond to individuals who demonstrate a sincere interest in you. A lot of this is in how the questions are asked: are they directive, or open-ended story elicitations?

Ask for a story, and allow your listener to think about him or herself – not about you, why you are asking the question, and what your preferred response might be. Allow your listener to be the hero.

1 comment:

  1. This is something I strive for in my ministry as a chaplain - eliciting stories from patients, residents, family, et al. I often think that my title, "chaplain", often does put people in the position of questioning what my preferred response might be. But I seek to put them at ease by finding ways to let them know that I am simply interested.



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