1. The single most important thing is non-judgmental validation. Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them.
2. Suspend your ego. Focus on them.
3. Really listen, don’t just wait to talk. Ask them questions; don’t try to come up with stories to impress.
4. Ask people about what’s been challenging them.
5. Establishing a time constraint early in the conversation can put strangers at ease.
6. Smile, chin down, blade your body, palms up, open and upward non-verbal.
7. If you think someone is trying to manipulate you, clarify goals. Don’t be hostile or aggressive, but ask them to be straight about what they want.