Remember: Reflect the Emmotion! If Nothing Else.
How to Reflect in 3 Easy Steps
Step 1) Pause thinking to collect emotional clues and hear details.
Step 2) Paraphrase emotions and summarize content back to the speaker.
Step 3) Allow conversational space for any clarifications or acknowledgment.
Avoid A) Sending Advice.
Avoid B) Interrupting.
Reflecting in E-prime
If you have the skill to do so, then reflect in E-prime. Even if you don’t feel confident about your fluency in E-prime, remember: haste makes waste. Since evangelizing seemingly superfluous grammar modifications doesn’t benefit anyone, leading by example, makes for an excellent strategy winning E-prime advocates.
E-prime affords some avenues for non-conventional solutions when employed with consistency in interpersonal counseling. I don’t have any evidence to support that, beyond some personal experience. At the same time, I invite you to question me directly about the epistemological mechanisms that lead toward E-prime, as a cognitive adaptation for fake news.
Avoid These Common Traps When Listening
1) No Sending Advice – Avoid the temptation to offer a solution no matter how obvious it appears as an answer to the speaker’s concerns. Instead, paraphrase and reply with the emotional content followed by echoing some details about the content of what they have to express.
2) No Interrupting – Finding the right words to express feelings and conditions can take a little time. Try not to rush the speaker by finishing their statements, or start interrupting if the go too slow for you. Give them the patience you would enjoy if you reverse roles. You’ll get rewarded when the conversation shifts focus.
How to Listen in 3 Explained Steps
Step 1) Pause thinking while you collect comments from the speaker. Avoid the temptation to prepare your next comment, this takes firm resolve at first. Give yourself time to warm-up to the idea of listening without contemplating a response. Don’t contemplate while they speak, and still yourself to avoid getting lost in physical distractions.
Step 2) When timing feels appropriate, paraphrase the comments indicating first the emotional characteristic and secondly summarize the content. Remember to focus on reporting emotions since that often takes second place to the details. Sometimes, you don’t even need the details if you get the emotion correct.
Step 3) Allow conversational space for the speaker to reply. A reply will require some contemplation before they will return dialogue. Pausing here gives the respondent some courtesy. If you get too impatient here, you might accidentally interrupt. If that happens, just apologize and re-allow space for a response.
Repeat Step 1 through 3 as necessary to allow the speaker to finish expressing their concerns.