Few people are more influential than those who are good listeners. If you can make a man feel comfortable talking to you, and feel heard and appreciated, you will know his deepest secrets and the keys to his heart and mind. If you can listen without being judgemental, you can find out who a man really is, because if a man can express his thoughts without being judged, he will! The opportunity is simply too rare to pass up.
Judging too early, especially if you express criticism, can lead to misunderstanding. If you are quick to criticize, a man will learn that when he opens up to you, he will get judged and feel hurt. Result is that he will hide is thoughts and feelings, avoid honest communication and distance himself from you emotionally. Yet if you take the patience to understand a man’s point of view and show a natural curiosity by asking questions to find out how he has come to this opinion, not only does he become more communicative, but he may very well find fault in his own reasoning as he realises he concluded something too hastily. People are far more likely to change their mind if it is their own idea.
Feel free to reflect his words and thoughts to make sure you heard correctly what was said and to understand what he is trying to bring across. An easy way to do this is by summarising a message. This gives him the opportunity to either confirm that you understood him, or to elaborate and increase your understanding. Another way to reflect is to ask questions that elicit elaboration. You will find that this causes him to communicate more and deeper thoughts and feelings. Now when a man shares a wise thought or a welcome feeling, don’t be shy in showing your appreciation! Take the opportunity to make a sincere compliment. This nourishes his self-esteem, builds his trust and shows him that you know him. The more a man feels known and appreciated, the more emotional connection he feels.