I always identify myself as a listener. If I do not know how to respond to others, then I should put myself into the listener role. After I studied the chapter, I realized that I am not a good listener. To my understanding, a good listener is better at observing a person’s expressions and weigh his/her words carefully and know how to respond. Unfortunately, I always mess up with the responses, and sometimes I cannot catch the main point from the speaker.
There was a time, one of my friends called me to complain about his boss. He told me that his boss always gave him a hard time. He said he wants to quit the job, and he sounded very depressed. I totally understood what he was saying. I wanted to give him some advice afterwards, but I did not know what I should say. So I complained about his boss with him at the beginning, then I started to analyze the situation and judged about his behaviors. I made him uncomfortable at that moment. I might fuel his anger even more by accident. He turned his anger towards me. I felt wronged and argued with him. Finally we hung up the phone with an unhappy closure. My mom was on her computer next to me when I was on the phone. She heard most of our conversations, and she said “no one is going to like to talk to you if you keep up with the way you talk, your friend was trying to get comfort from you, but you scolded him right away.” I felt guilty, so I called him back and apologized to him.
From this experience, I learned that I should not judge him and gave him my opinion at that time. I should not make him feel that I was trying to show off that I am smarter than him. I should place myself in his shoes. Listen carefully and look at the problems from his perspective and try to see his point of view. More than that, I should offer some back-channel cues, and repeat some of the pieces or summarize what he was saying and restate it in my own words to show that I paid attention and...
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