Looking for ways to shut someone down while they are sharing?!
Probably not, but it’s almost too easy to do without knowing.
Check out these tongue-in-check conversation killers to see if you are guilty of stifling a quality conversation.
- One up their story – Your story is probably better or worse than theirs and likely a lot more interesting. So, see if you can get them to stop sharing by telling your similar story with more color or finesse. See if you can get them to feel guilty since your have gone through something far more difficult or silly for celebrating since your deal was grander!
- Interrupt – Cut to the chase by finishing their sentences for them. This will save time and keep them from having to find words that truly express what they are thinking or feeling.
- Jump to conclusions – You probably know what’s going on in their life better than they do, so go ahead and decide in advance of hearing them out. This will help them remain “in their place” so they won’t ever have to think for themselves.
- Look away – You are a busy person and they are taking up valuable time. If you can look at your phone or computer this will help them understand you don’t have all day for them to share their stuff. If a device isn’t handy, you can just look at other people, or anywhere but in their eyes, and that should do the trick!
- Tell them what to do – Since you are a bigger, better person with more life experience, wisdom, education or all of the above, feel free to decide what they should do next and tell them so! One of the following commands should work:
“Now, listen to me (insert what they should do here)!”
“Well, if I were you I would just …”
“You know what you should do?”
Whatever you do – don’t do any of the following!
- Ask them powerful questions that would place ownership back on their side! This would result in their growing and gaining personal experience.
- Let them share their heart and listen to them. They may feel valued and this could lend toward them not needing you for every decision.
- Empathize! This could make them feel like you actually care about them personally, not just in comparison to what you or others have gone through.
- Partner with them in their journey – rather just demand that they get things right all the time. I mean that’s what you do right?
If you are looking instead to listen well and ask powerful questions, Coaching Culture is for you!
Cindy Scott is a professional Life Coach, Coach Trainer and founder of Bridges Coaching. She has her roots in Elim - is an EBI grad and is ordained through Elim Fellowship along with holding a Masters in Ministry and Lifeforming Leadership Coach Training Certification. Cindy loves helping people or teams build bridges to what could be through the coaching paradigm and/or helping them understand their destiny by design!
She and her husband Eric, Care Pastor at Elim Gospel Church, have four grown children, enjoy biking on the Erie Canal Trail and love a leisurely trip to Starbucks.