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By Darryl Stewart
image of one woman listening to another

How to make someone feel like a million bucks

Here are some tips from renowned leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith on how to help someone feel great during a conversation:

  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Listen.
  • Don’t finish the other person’s sentences.
  • Don’t say “I knew that.”
  • Don’t even agree with the other person. (this one is hard, but it takes away from the other person’s feeling that you are truly listening)
  • Even if he or she praises you, just say, “Thank you.”
  • Avoid the words “no,” “but,” and “however.”
  • Don’t be distracted. Maintain your end of the dialogue by asking intelligent questions that: (a) show that you’re paying attention; (b) move the conversation forward; and (c) require the other person to talk (while you listen).
  • Don’t strive to impress the other person with how smart or funny you are. Your aim is to give the person the space to do that.

The more you can suppress your desire to make a good impression and instead listen to the other person, the better you will make them feel.

Study after study shows that the more we shut up and fight the urge to talk and impress, and focus instead on being a great listener, the higher the opinion the other person will have of us after the conversation.

IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.