After you have listened and really heard, respond by conveying your interest and respect:
- Empathize: Put yourself in the other person's shoes and try to understand.
- Validate: Acknowledge that the person's feelings are valid. This is a very powerful tool because you are recognizing the person's right to feel that way, regardless of whether you would feel the same way.
- Restate what the other person has said: this allows you to make sure you understand the feelings and shows you are listening. Point out the good things the person has done or tried to do.
- Clarify: Ask questions to get more information about the problem.
- Summarize: Paraphrase the main points you have heard so that you can make sure you understand all the issues.