In our western society we don’t listen much. We interrupt. We value entertainment and achievement and competition. So we tell stories and we one-up each other.
You have a horrible boss story? Well let me tell you about the ogre I used to work for.
Oh, it’s a great boss story? Well I once worked for the best boss in the world.
Instead, try this. “Tell me more.”
These are three of the most flattering words you can say. It shows interest. It shows you aren’t just chomping at the bit to do them one better or to shoot them down. It gives them the space to think clearly instead of having to speak in a rush.
Tell me what you think. And keep in mind, I might just ask for more.