- Be present in all conversations, focused on the speaker, your friend. This means one needs to stop what they are doing or thinking – stop texting, writing emails or thinking about your to-do list. Instead one needs to focus, notice body language, maintain eye contact, paying attention to what is being said.
- Choose to listen in a way that is open and non-judging. We all judge each other all the time, which limits our ability to understand and closes us to the opportunities of learning more about others. If we pre-judge we are already labeling a person in a certain way. This is not respectful of our friends. To change to creating more meaningful friendships, one needs to stop judging and be open to what the person is saying.
- Ask open questions (begin with who, what, where, when, how) to dig deeper and better understand.
- Test assumptions – we all make assumptions all the time. If we are really listening to someone and curious, we will naturally begin to notice what we could be assuming and jump in to test the assumption.
Contributors: Kathy Taberner from Institute of Curiosity