It has been known for centuries that a person can become popular and in demand if they are a good listener. This is true because most people love to talk about themselves and good listeners are hard to find. The better listener you are the more popular you will be. Good listening is not just standing there with your mouth shut and ears open. Really good listening requires some activity on the part of the listener.
The idea of using some type of response is to show the person who is talking that not only do you hear what is being said but that you are emotionally involved by their dialogue. The response may be: the nod of your head, raising of he eye brows, a smile or a frown, leaning towards them, utterance of a word or what ever is appropriate at the time.
Another way to become an in demand listener is to respond to the emotional content of what is being said. So while listening to their story you might say, “I’m sure you felt angry.” Of course other terms such as frustrated, sad, happy, etc. might better apply. The idea is to describe their mental state at the time of the incident they are telling you about.
We have been describing “active listening .” It is important because it shows the other person we are interested in what they have to say and people find this very flattering.