On a trip to the Rocky Mountains I learned first-hand about the “echo effect” when shouting at a mountain. My voice sounded incredible, as I listened to it bounce against the peaks and valleys.
The masters of communication often make good use of the echo effect.
They’ve learned that listening and then repeating back the words they hear makes people feel more comfortable. This mirroring and clarification of language brings a better understanding of the other person’s concerns and perspective.
Leaders are more effective when they practice the echo effect for a number of reasons:
- It places you in their world
- It signals you’re on the same page
- It improves comfort and likability
Practice the echo effect in your daily interactions:
- Really listen to the person you’re talking to. Pay particular attention to the words they use frequently.
- When you don’t understand what is meant by a certain word, ask them, or repeat what they said in the form of a question. e.g. You didn’t get the job?
- Don’t interrupt, allow the other person to express themselves.
- When you add to the conversation, use the same words and phrases they used to communicate your ideas and thoughts.
Research shows that when food servers use the echo effect they receive higher tips.
Getting the knack of the echo effect doesn’t happen overnight. But practicing the skill may produce great benefits.