Listening is an important tool in relationships. By listening carefully, we can usually tell what another person wants out of the relationship.
The purpose of listening is to focus on the other person and learn something about her or him.
We can all become better listeners:
- Decide that you want to listen to the other person
- Let the person know you are listening by making eye-contact.
- Silence encourages a person to share feelings and thoughts. Don't be afraid of it.
- Listen without judging, not whether you agree or disagree, not whether the person is right or wrong.
- Try to understand what's being said and the underlying feelings.
- Do not think about anything other than what the person is saying. Avoid thinking about your response. When you think about your response you are listening to your inner voice and not listening to the other person.
- When the person is finished talking, acknowledge what you heard by paraphrasing what was said and reflecting the feelings you heard, explicitly, or between the lines.
- When we stop, focus and listen we tell other people they are important and what they have to say matters.
- Listening to another and showing understanding is one of the greatest gifts to offer.