Engaging In Conversation At Just the Right Time

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When someone is speaking to you one on one or over the phone in person, there are times when you should be talking back. Now, as I mentioned, you don't want to just arbitrarily interrupt someone mid sentence. But when you feel like they've really covered one big point, and they're perhaps about to go to the next and they've actually paused to take a breath, then it is appropriate to paraphrase, or restate. So if we were talking together live, and you just heard the previous lecture, and you wanted to practice this, you might say something like, so TJ, let me get this straight. Make sure I'm understanding. You're saying in general, don't interrupt people mid sentence.

But if they say something, and you really didn't hear it, or you don't understand it, it's okay to say, oh, excuse me. Pardon me. Just didn't hear that last thing you said. Could you please restate it? That's paraphrasing. That's right.

Restating, so this helps you at several levels, because if you know you're going to do that, you're going to listen more actively. Because you're essentially going to be testing yourself in a minute because you can't paraphrase something if you weren't actually focused and listening, so it motivates you to listen and a much more active engaged way. Number two, it's letting the person you're speaking to now, this person is really paying attention. It's a little bit flattering to I am getting through I am a good communicator, the person is thinking, and they actually will be if you're getting the main point. Now, you don't want to do this every two seconds. It can seem almost childish, but certainly every so often, especially if it's something important in your workplace, something new, something that isn't just common sense.

I've never yet heard a client say to me, TJ I hated the way you listen to me so carefully restated my needs and told me how you'd work on them. I've never heard a client say that. I have heard clients say repeatedly, not about me, but others when the other person left the room. Do you see that person on their cell phone? We're trying to have a meeting, how rude how disrespectful that I hear all the time. So try to listen and occasionally restate and summarize better for your own.

Listening better for your own memory are actually going to remember it more and gives the person speaking to a breather and a sense that this meeting this conversation is actually worthwhile. It's having an impact.

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