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19 Mar 2012

Relationship Building Technique #5: Encouragement

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Relationship Building Techniques

Encouragement tells the other person to talk more on a point.

Encouragement are brief, very direct statements that tell where we would to focus our conversation.

We often think listening builds relationships. Many times this does not happen though. This is very true when we listen but people do not know we are. Encouraging people with brief, direct statements helps us let them know we are listening.

Defining Encouragement

Encouragement tells the other person to talk more on a point. It is like acknowledgement but it is clearer, more direct words or short statement.  It says we have interest in the topic.

It is also a more direct way to move the person to a point you like. It is very effective after we get an answer to our broad open-ended questions and wish to narrow down and tie points with closed ones. They hone the conversation.

Examples of Encouragement Technique

Here are some examples of the encouragement technique:

  • Short statements such as:
    • “Tell me more . . .”
    • “Explain that further …”
    • “Please elaborate …”
    • “Please explain, I’m not sure I understand . . .”
  • Redirections of conversation such as:
    • “A few minutes ago you talked about the report they wrote. Tell me more about that and its findings.”
    • “Please go back to your points about when you started the project and tell me more about that.”
    • “You said that before too. Talk more on that since it is very clear that it is important to you and the team.”

Feelings Encouragement Conveys

When we are trying to build relationships, encouragements help us refer back to earlier comments. They can be very impressive. They show we listen and have a good memory. They convey the feeling that we are:

  • Interested in the conversation
  • Closely listening when we are able to redirect conversation to a previous point
  • Remembering what was said earlier

What Encouragement Does

When we use encouragements to build relationships, they are very helpful tools that allow us to:

  • Get further comments especially from quiet people
  • Substantially increase receptivity when redirection occurs
  • Move the conversation to a more personal or confidential level
  • Prevent coming across as interrogating

Encouragements build strong relationships and support other techniques very well. It cannot be stressed enough at how strongly they convey that we listened. They can also show we have a very good memory.


Series Navigation<< Relationship Building Technique #4: AcknowledgementRelationship Building Technique #6: Synchronization >>

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