Former FBI negotiator Chris Voss writes in Never Split The Difference, his manual of persuasive techniques, there are five stages in what’s known as the “behavioural change stairway model” that take anyone from “listening to influencing behaviour”. The first stage is active listening – namely, being able to show the other person that you have taken in what they’ve said and, more importantly, have a sense of what it means to them. Rather than focusing on what you want to say, listen to what the other person is telling you, then try to repeat it back to them. Start with, “It seems like what you’re saying is” or “Can I just check, it sounds like what you’re saying is”. If that feels too contrived, it often works simply to repeat the last sentence or thought someone has expressed (known in counselling practice as “reflecting”). What to say Try, “It seems like you’re feeling frustrated with this situation – is that right?” Always give the other person the opportunity to comment on or correct your assessment.
Rosie Ifould writing in The Guardian