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This story appears in the November 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You know it's important to listen, but do you take the time to let your employees and colleagues know you heard what they said? "Letting people know you heard them is a way to let them know you value their viewpoint, you think they're important and that you truly are listening," says Andy Levine, president of Development Counsellors International, a New York City-based firm specializing in economic development and tourism marketing. Levine uses the following techniques to let people know he has heard them:

  • Ask questions. Don't just nod your head; ask pertinent questions that will allow them to clarify and expand on their thoughts.
  • Confirm that you understand by repeating what you've heard. This may also help them crystallize their point.

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