Communicating with others is vital to
- Listen Proactively and Attentively. Show you are interested in what others have to say. Engage in what they are saying. Respond with feedback. Ask for clarification.
- Listen to Learn. From understanding another person’s viewpoint to getting guidance on how to travel to another city, listening helps you learn.
- Listen Objectively. Gather all information with an open mind. If what is being said is emotionally charged, take in the words without judgment. Remember you may not have all the facts. And, it is just one person’s opinion. Keep your mind open. And do not be quick to judge.
- Listen to Provide Feedback. Articulating what was said helps your mind organize and respond appropriately. Feedback helps further understanding and adds value to cooperative conversations.
- Listen to Clarify. Short or long, every message is a story told. Not everyone can tell an event in 3 sentences. As a listener, you can clarify by asking questions or paraphrasing, which helps you get the whole picture.
How to Listen to HEAR Another…
- Stop your mind chatter so you can attend the conversation. If you are thinking about your response while another person talks, you are not really hearing –or listening to them.
- Hear words as just information. Remember everyone has their own version, perception and experiences. Words are pieces of information. The relational aspect is left to the interpretation of the listener.
- Do not interrupt the talker. Respect others and listen to them until they are done. Often you will learn more as they talk.
- Paraphrase in your own words back to the messenger what you think they said. This will clear up misunderstandings. And promote mutual awareness.
- If you do not understand the terminology- or you are getting an information overload > Ask the speaker to explain in simpler words, or slow down. Tell them you want to be able to understand, because you value their message.
- If you are preoccupied with your own issues it is difficult to hear another person. Tell your friend you need to talk another time when you are able to fully listen.
Listening is a powerful connector towards maintaining long lasting relationships. Listening attentively tells another you care, value and respect them. In most cases, listening is far more important than talking!
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No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.