I am not always the best listener.

No…stop telling me I’m a great listener…I know you’re trying to be nice…but really… I know I’m not always the best listener…

So when I read the book Everyday Vitality by Samantha Boardman, MD, I was all ears for the following bit about Active Constructive Responding

Just remember these three (words): Tell Me More

When you are in a conversation with someone, be involved in the conversation. Don’t continue to scroll on your phone. Don’t think about what’s next on your to do list. When you are in a conversation with someone, be present.

When you are in a conversation with someone, and by someone I mean not only the neighbor down the street, but a partner or parent or child, are you actively listening?

Are you actively engaged in the conversation?

Are you paying attention to what is being said?

If you don’t know what to say next, use Boardman’s magic words: Tell me more.

As a society, we need to become better at communicating, and more importantly remind ourselves that it takes two people to have a conversation. If it’s just one, it’s not a conversation it’s a monologue. The only place for monologues is the opening minutes of a late night talk show.

Communication- more than one person. Open dialogue. Back and forth.

Tell me more.

39 thoughts on “Tell Me More

  1. What a simple phrase that opens the door to connecting on a deeper level. And sometimes people don’t want you to do anything more than listen, allow them to talk. Those three words are perfect!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Some people never really had it . Others are still using it . Maybe the important thing is to keep promoting and teaching communication and listening, especially with children.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a good listener in person but found that often with blogs I skip around especially if I have things to do and I miss a few details. “It takes two people to have a conversation” so leave your phone at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, yes…and one of the best therapeutic techniques to avoid leading and leaning in and directing a conversation too much. Good advice about listening – period! 🥰 thanks, LA!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Not to talk myself up, but I know I am a really good listener. And you know why? Each person has such amazing fascinating stories if we just stop and listen to them. I guess I often say – tell me more. 🤓

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s one of the simplest and most effective of tools available to counsellors and coaches, I love it. As an alternative, I sometimes say “go on?” as I sense they’ve stopped because they feel they *should*.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the phrase “Tell me more.” When I had a brief stint as a financial advisor working with my husband, a lot of the training was working on listening. It seemed so obvious to me, but they must have felt it was necessary. I think listening comes naturally to some people. I need to work on being more present in the moment with family members. I’m better with other people.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sometimes, rarely, but sometimes I catch myself slipping off to my own thoughts when I’m talking to someone who has a tendency to rattle on and on about nothing of importance. I really try and stay present in conversations but just like meditation, my mind is a mind of its own. I like the fallback of “tell me more,” because it can refocus both parties on the conversation. Always love your posts LA. Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well this one hits home. Being a man we have our own ideas about listening…The hardest part about being married is making believe you’re listening.
    Please. Don’t tell your husband that I let the secret out.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Tell me more.”

    O.K. Less is more. Don’t bury the lede…Got something on your mind…well… headless body in topless bar …ain’t that the recipe for “pray tell dialogue.”

    The play is the thing….but most are afraid to play with…toy with language …so i.e., someone is always angry….never incensed, crabby, apoplectic, or simply peeved….can’t have any of that now …nope… just angry…yet everybody today is angry …so the hell …..what?

    They bore, so the dialogue becomes a snore and all begin to sleepwalk through the scene.

    The lack of nuance in the telling makes a nuisance of both the tale and the teller, and promotes extreme spasms of woolgathering to our audience of one, as no fun is to be exchanged in such a template and paltry parley.

    We’d all be better listeners if anecdotalist would step up and give a fret about their damn tête-à-tête game.

    Nice write….but you and Samantha Boardman, MD are close to blaming the victim. We listeners.

    ( so x comes home and says, so and so is “angry” with me. 6 to 5 and pick’em your response would be….Why?

    ( so x comes home and says, so and so is “peeved” with me. 6 to 5 and pick’em your response would be….Peeved?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know I’m not a great listener and I know I need to do better. My husband asked my mom a question the other day, and she said what she wanted to say but didn’t answer the question. My husband epic non listener. My father in law has been going through chaos because he hears what he wants to hear not what’s being said. So yeah…I’m sort of blaming the listener

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Perfect. This is a great tool, and I use it all the time. Factually, we all need practice with active listening and with effective communication, and when we are patient with each other and ask good questions we can gain clarity of understanding, which helps a lot. Awesome post, LA.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve never met you in person, but I really believe you are probably a good listener. Because you “hear” what is said to you in the comments, and you always respond in a very appropriate way. I think you have communication down pat!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Communication in general has taken a significant nose dive with technology and social media. We’ve lost the art of engaging and I find myself falling prey to that at times. Love the idea of “tell me more”!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I was already working on becoming a better listener. I know my aversion (I guess that’s what I could call it) to active listening is a real fault of mine, especially when I’m talking to (trying to avoid this) or conversing with my children.

    They’ve been very active in pointing out directly to me that I do what a lot of people do i.e. mentally prepare for what I’m going to say in return to my partner in conversation and therefore not listen to half of what they say. I’m going to try to remember the phrase “Tell me more” on those occasions as a way to keep my mind a little more open to their thoughts and feelings and avoid being compelled (as their mother) to jump in with my own opinion.

    Interestingly, I have no problem employing this method in conversations with strangers.


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