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One simple trick to help your conversations flow better

🧶 Tip: To be a better listener, visualize a ball being passed back and forth.

In a conversation, listening isn’t the price you have to pay to finally be able to say your thing. As Don Johnson explains on Human Parts, it is “an active process that signals genuine interest in the other person.” If you have a tendency to be absorbed in your portion of the chat (and no judgement—we’re all guilty of this at times), try picturing a ball being passed and forth, a metaphor that Johnson shares. The other person speaks and then tosses the ball to you. You catch it and hold it, absorbing the words you just heard. You then ask a question or offer your point of view, and toss the ball back.

What creates a connection is that moment when you’re carrying what the other person has just said in your hands. Try not to let it drop, and your relationships will be better for it.

💬 More from Forge on making your interactions more memorable:

How to Have a Great Conversation With Anyone, Anywhere

The Power of Listening After Asking ‘How Are You?’

5 Movie Scenes That Offer a Master Class in Conversation

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A publication from Medium on personal development.

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Michelle Woo

Michelle Woo

Author of Horizontal Parenting: How to Entertain Your Kid While Lying Down (Chronicle Books)

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