10 Nonverbal Tips Designed to Improve Relationships: No. 5
This is Tip #5 in a series of 10 relationship building reminders.
The “Limp-Leg” Trick.
This sounds like a bizarre topic today … the limp-leg trick. This ought to be good.
Here is the deal. Most people (spelled m-o-s-t) are very poor communicators. They may be “okay” at sharing their thoughts when it is their turn to talk, but when these very same people are not talking, they are biding their time waiting for their turn to talk.
In other words, they are very poor at the skill of listening. This is because they spend very little time practicing this skill. They just wait patiently for a pause in the conversation so they can jump in with their earth-shaking news of the day. They may even fool themselves into thinking that somebody (anybody) is actually interested in their opinions.
The truth is that when they are “waiting” their total lack of interest becomes crystal clear to the speaker. We know when we have lost you and you are not enhancing your stock once this happens.
But you can be sure of this: If I detect that you are actually listening to me, then our relationship will be nothing but improved. After all, people like people who like them. People like people who are interested in what they say.
So, what is today’s tip? It is all about the “limp-leg” trick. I gave it that name so don’t for a minute think I am quoting some smart philosopher from the 18th century. Here is how it works.
Your objective is to focus on what the other person is saying without interruption. You want the other person to know that you are listening to every word. You do this by stopping them along the way to ask them for:
- Additional supportive information, or,
- To repeat their last point since you were momentarily distracted.
Answers A and B are clearly indications that they have your attention. Even if you are hanging on their every word, you might want to try the ole “limp-leg” to simply impress upon them that you are with them.
Without interrupting, you can also demonstrate your interest in what people have to say by vocalizing agreement and support by making statements such as, “hmmm” and “yes!” or “interesting” and “really?” as a way of communicating your attentiveness in what they have to share.
If you are like most people, you will be waiting your turn to speak. Fight this tendency. Try exercising the limp-leg trick. You will see instantly that your reputation will be enhanced based on your genuine interest in others.
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