Those difficult conversations with people you only see once a year….
Christmas is a time of year when you may find yourself having a conversation with someone you only see once a year. They may take this opportunity to discuss things they wouldn’t talk to someone else about. I think we can all remember being ‘caught’ in one of these discussions. The feeling of being trapped comes because we don’t know what to say.
Here’s a tip. The person having this conversation doesn’t expect you to fix it, they just want someone outside of what is happening to LISTEN.
Listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give to someone at this time of year.
- Be interested
- Give them your full attention, (be present, that is the present you are giving)
- Use your non-verbal communication. Lean toward them, nod, mumm and ah.
- When they stop talking don’t try to fix whatever they have been telling you. Ask them, ‘What are you going to do’. Most people know the answer to their issues, they just need to tell someone.
Your gift to them is to WITNESS, be the person that hears and knows.
Your next gift is to RESPECT them by knowing that they can deal with it. That’s why you ask ‘What are you going to do’, instead of giving advice. This let’s them know that you respect their knowledge and ability to deal with it.
Then you listen and witness some more.
This is the greatest present you can give, YOUR PRESENCE.