So often I hear about “being a good listener” as a desired trait in having a good converstation. It’s true that you need to pay attention to the person with whom you’re speaking, but recently I realized it’s more than that.
A little bit of context for the reader: I lean very heavily toward the introvert side of the spectrum. I feel I am a fantastic listener… As long as the other person is willing to talk! Lol
At one point in a conversation I always run in to an awkward pause (whether it’s because the other person has run out of things to say, or they, too, lean toward introversion.)
Although I’m a good listener, I’m a HORRIBLE conversationalist! Lol
This is where my recent discovery comes into play.
A similar phrase to “good listener” exists in Japanese, too, and it is also what makes for a good conversational partner.
That phrase is “聞き上手” (read: kiki joe-zuu”).
The most commonly used Japanese word for “listen” is “聞く” (read: kiku). (There are a few other variations like 聴く or 耳を傾ける, and what have you, but I’ll put them aside for this discussion.)
But, “kiku” is also the word used to represent the word “ask” or “interview.”
An interviewer is sometimes called “聞き手” (read: Kiki teh).
In the Japanese concept of a “good listener,” the person not only knows to shut their mouth when someone else is talking, but they also know how to ASK the right questions!
That was a lightbulb moment for me right there. That is how I can combat the awkward silence.
I hope it sparked some inspiration in other folks like it did to me. 🙂