Listening to each other is a great gift. Good listening also makes a conversation warm and lively. Here are some tips:
- Relax with your conversation partner – take 3 deep slow breaths to start before recording if you like
- Forget about the facilitator and the recording equipment if you can!
- Have eye contact with your conversation partner – beyond the microphones or your question notes
- Open your heart and mind to the conversation. Be interested and engaged
- If you are feeling sad or amused, show it
- If you find you are curious, gently ask further questions about a topic
- Be aware of the comfort level of your conversation partner – ask them how it feels to remember the things they are talking about. For example, ‘Are you OK talking about ….?’
- Acknowledge what your conversation partner has said and the feelings they have shown. You might use sentences such as:
- This must have been difficult for you
- You seem very satisfied that this happened the way it did
- That must have been challenging
- Yes, I remember that too!
If you use the same words that your conversation partner has used, that can help too. Your conversation partner will know that you are really paying attention
Do take your time together. There is no rush