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.