You consider yourself a first-rate conversationalist. You can finish sentences and pinpoint thoughts like nobody’s business. (You’re like Queer Eye’s unlicensed therapist, Karamo, but IRL.) Hate to break it to you, but your enthusiastic interjecting is actually getting in the way of the most important conversation skill of all: thoughtful listening.
Luckily, there’s a trick for how to be a better listener (or at least seem like one), and it’s surprisingly simple.
Before you give a response, pause. That’s it. Really.
According to the late psychologist (and author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff) Richard Carlson, it’s called “breathe before you speak.”