Build Relationships by Attending to Other People

Today is Friday, so this post is on interpersonal competence.

Interpersonally competent people build strong, lasting relationships with the people in their lives.  One way of doing this is to “attend” to the people around you.  Engage them and list to what they have to say.

Here are five ideas for attending to the people in your life:

  1. Pay attention.  Let the other person speak.  Listen to what they have to say.  Stay present and focused on them.
  2. Withhold judgment.  Hear the other person out – especially when you find yourself disagreeing with what he or she is saying.  Don’t mentally rehearse what you are going to say in rebuttal.
  3. Reflect.  Paraphrase what you hear the other person say.  You’ll accomplish three things by paraphrasing: 1) you’ll show the other person that you’re paying attention; 2) you’ll give him or her a chance to correct any misconceptions you have about what he or she said and 3) you’ll provide the other person with the opportunity to expand on what he or she said, so you’ll be gaining even more insight.
  4. Share.  Be willing to share with the other person similar experiences you’ve had.  This shows empathy for him or her.  It also invites the other person to delve deeper into what he or she is saying, helping you to learn more.
  5. Summarize.  As the conversation comes to a close, summarize what you’ve heard.  Go over the key points that both of you have made.  Make sure that he or she knows that you have listened and understood.

Use these five tips to build stronger relationships and to become more interpersonally competent.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website to subscribe to my monthly ezine and for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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