- It enables silence to be comfortable, which means that there can be more pondering and less speaking
- The steady movement stimulates discussion and thought
- The change in environment means that it is easier to think differently, and not be bound by established patterns
- There is something metaphorical in walking together, alongside each other, which subtly influences our subconscious
- Start by simply listening to what the person being listened to wants to say and explain
- Listen actively (encouraging nods & responses etc.) but try not to disrupt or interrupt the flow
- Ask for clarification of things that you are not clear about, and which are threatening to confuse or derail the picture you are trying to develop in your own mind
- Summarise if there is any danger of you getting lost, and (carefully and sensitively) reflect back things that strike you as strange or interesting or appear to be at odds with the picture
- Be sympathetic and humble in both tone and style: “Sorry, I’m struggling to make sense of what you have just said?” is likely to be more helpful to the flow than a challenge like “That makes no sense!”
- When the narrative falters, use questions that have arisen in your own mind to encourage it further, but do not be afraid of long silences, particularly after you have asked a question
- Avoid making suggestions. Instead turn it into a question: ‘Have you considered…?’ Then before you ask it check whether the question could be asked more broadly/openly: ‘What have you …’
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