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10 Simple Steps to Be a Good Storyteller and Good Listener

(Image: stories/Freepik)
Listening may seem easy, but it takes effort too, you know. Listening well requires full attention and must be done often so that we are trained. Don't let the people you talk to feel like you're not being heard completely.

There are several steps so that we can become good listeners, as summarized by psychology professor Susan Krauss Whitbourne, as reported by Psychology Today.

1. Paraphrasing

To make sure you understand what the other person is saying, try paraphrasing what they are saying. Confirm what you understand in your own words.

2. Open questions

If you want to explore more about the story being discussed, please ask an open question. This question begins with what, where, when, who, why, or how. Avoid closed questions, questions that only answer yes or not

3. Give validation

Sometimes when telling a story, someone tends to seek validation by saying, "Isn't that right?" or other sentences. Make sure you meet the validation and show that you understand the story.

4. Simple words

When the other person is telling a story, it's a good idea to give a brief response that shows that we are really listening. The response can take the form of “Hmm hmm” or “Yes” or “Okay.”

5. Say name

Saying the name of the other person will make them feel more appreciated. It doesn't have to be too often, just the parts that show you actually heard them.

6. Facial expressions

If the previous five points discussed about verbal, now proceed to nonverbal. Expression is one of the nonverbal aspects that must be considered. We need to show that we are empathetic, curious, or interested in the story being told.

7. Nod your head

At some important points, nod your head when the other person mentions important points in the story. It shows we are really listening. Don't nod your head too often, because you're not a car dashboard display.

8. Posture

Turn our body slightly towards the other person. Don't lean away from them or face the other way.

9. Eye gaze

Obviously we have to direct our eyes to the other person, not in another direction let alone playing HP. If they're not looking at us, that's fine, but make sure we keep our eyes on them.

10. Silence

While listening to the story, you should not rush to respond. Don't interrupt the story with advice or opinions. If the story is finished and the other person asks for an opinion, then we can express our opinion.

So, those are some steps to be a good listener. Practice listening often so that you become more pro-active and become a good listener.

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