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Have you ever been in a conversation where you can’t wait for the speaker to finish so you can have your say? At times, it feels like a story-swapping contest. “You think that was bad? Wait till you hear my story.” Story swapping can be fun and we’ve probably all been guilty at times. There are, however, moments when friends and family just need us to witness their story. In those situations it is great to be able to switch off our own stories and just sit with theirs. So, next time you are in conversation and you sense that impatience building “Will their story ever finish?, simply notice that and bring your attention back to the person speaking. That is step 1.

Step 2 is improving our own listening skills. This short video from Julian Treasure, author of Secrets for Powerful Speaking and Listening, is a great place to start!