Active Listening and the Rewards Strategy

Guys have a hard time listening. And it’s one of the worst things that prevent them from connecting with women. 

While I was working with a client in DC this past weekend, I noticed times when conversations with women were going great and other times they weren’t.

Consistently  we figured out in the times they weren’t, he didn’t know what to say next.

This is a common issue for the men I work with. 

So I’ll follow up with asking, “what was the last thing she said,” and most clients won’t remember. Guys are so much in their heads, thinking about the perfect thing to say to a woman, they don’t actually listen to what she’s saying.

“Guys have a hard time listening and it hurts their

chances with women. Here's how.” Tweet this.

It’s a shame because if guys just listened, they’d have all the information they’d need to connect with women on so many levels.

To help this issue, I taught my client how two strategies that helped him get better results over the weekend.

How to actively effectively

Simply put, the point of asking a question is to get an answer. But when talking to someone you’re attracted to, the point is to find ways to relate to them. If you’re not listening to their answers, you’ll have no way of doing that.

Anything she says can be full of information waiting for you to relate to. In the marketing world, they call these bits of information “hooks.” This is what gets people to respond and relate to whatever product marketers are trying to sell -- in this case, you.

Let’s look at an example conversation:

Me: “You don’t look like you’re from around here.” [notice how I didn’t just ask, “where are you from?”]

Her: “Actually, I moved here 5 months ago. I grew up on a farm in Oregon.”

Check out the “hooks” I can comment on and relate to:

  • Moved here 5 months ago
  • Grew up on a farm
  • Lived in Oregon

You may not know how to relate to any of those things, initially. But here is how you can make it so you can.

Me: “You grew up on a farm?! Like, feeding chickens, milking cows, on a farm?!”

Her: “Haha. Yeah.”

Me: “Wow, that’s so cool. [reward] I’ve never met anyone who grew up on a farm [you’re indicating she’s unique]. It must be crazy for you to go from such a rural area to a big city like New York. [setting up to relate]”

Her: “Yeah. The first month was pretty much all shocking to me. For a little bit I was wondering how people could live like this haha.”


  • First month of shock 
  • How could people live here

Me: “I totally know what you mean. I personally am from Boston, which has definitely more of a big town feel than a city one. Plus, I grew up in a more residential area, so there weren’t skyscrapers and tight corners around me. When I moved to New York, there’s was definitely a shock because this city is really unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. [relate] I can only image the shock you must have had. [connect]”

From there, you can take the conversation in multiple directions, including:

  • Asking what it was like to grow up on a farm.
  • Continuing to talk about the shock of being in a big city. For example, asking her about her experience on the subway, which can be an interesting one, especially in New York City.
  • Explain why you guessed she wasn’t from around here. This can give you an opportunity to state levels of interest (she has a very carefree attitude you like, the way she dresses, her smile, etc.)

When you do this, it shows you are actually listening and care about what she’s saying, which feels amazing to her and doesn’t happen often, believe it or not.

Implementing the Rewards Strategy

Ever wonder how business reward programs became so popular? Basically, it’s the simple idea of rewarding customers for things they would normally do otherwise, such as buying products. For example, I’m sure many of you have some type of rewards card for your grocery store, and get to benefit from perks the store would provide. 

However, what’s really interesting about most rewards programs is you don’t get “punished” for NOT doing something.

Here’s how you can apply this strategy with women you’re interacting with. 

In the example conversation above, whenever I made comments or asked questions, she responded with enough information for me to connect and relate to her. For that reason, I “rewarded” her by saying it was cool to have grown up on a farm. 

I also would have continued by saying how I liked her carefree vibe, her style, and anything else, based on where the conversation goes and her consistent contribution to it.

Doing this, not only are you making her feel good for opening up to you, but you’re also encouraging her to do it more. This creates deeper conversations and more solid connections with women that go beyond the physical attraction, which you established earlier.

Creating a space where the two of you can be vulnerable and share things about yourselves will give you the best opportunity to amplify the attraction and make it last. 

However, not all conversations will go that way. 

There will be times you won’t get a woman who’s giving you enough to work with. One-word answers, no answers at all, and borderline rudeness are all examples of responses guys may get from women with whom they’re attempting to start a conversation.

Most guys will get frustrated and “punish” a woman for acting that way by calling her out, getting defensive, and / or making a rude remark. This strategy is pointless considering the whole reason you’re talking with her is to get to know her and possibly make a romantic connection. 

The reality is you’re not doing a good job engaging her. A woman isn’t going to stay in an uninteresting conversation when there are other guys who could engage her better than you -- that’d be a waste of her time. And instead of just telling you, most women will respond with body language and lack of detail in their answers to your boring questions.

It’s a justified test women will put out to see if a guy is either interesting or boring, like every other guy that’s tried to talk to her.

Instead, don’t react to her non-verbal cues, initially. Try steering the conversation in another direction or, if her cues continue to be consistent and you feel there’s nothing else you can do, walk away.

The idea of this strategy is to only “reward” her for the things she does (responds to questions fully, tries to connect and relate to you, asks you questions, etc.) and not “punish” her if she doesn’t respond the way you’d like her to.

Besides, it’s punishment enough when you choose to walk away from her, anyway ;)