1. Seek others’ opinions and thoughts without judging them. Listen, but don’t judge. Nobody likes to be judged, but we do like to be heard.
2. Put your ego to the side. Stop contradicting people. If you don’t agree, shut up.
3. Focus on what they are saying. Really listen. Don’t think about what you want to say next while they are talking. Ask more questions about the things that interest you.
4. Ask for advice. People love to be heard, and they love to give their opinions.
5. Relate to their plight. Let them vent a little. Every person has troubles they want to get off their chest.
6. Give them a short time frame. If you say you are leaving soon, people will relax. Nobody likes to be committed to an awkward conversation that they might be stuck in for a while.
7. Practice open body language. Smile. Palms up. Chin down. Stand at an angle, not squared up the other person.