Are you a good listener?
Listening, actively listening, can be one of the most difficult tasks we can undertake, but also one of the most important.
I’ve found since I’ve learned to really listen that I learn so much more about other people. When someone notices me really listening, they feel much more comfortable and willing to open up about deeper things, things that they’ve wished that they could talk about, but maybe they haven’t found someone who would actually listen. We can help them each other just by listening. It’s a pretty cool thought, isn’t it?
The next time you’re involved in a conversation, try this: listen closely to what the other person says. If you have a response, a comment or a suggestion all ready prepared as soon as the other person is done, then you haven’t listened completely because you’ve been focusing on your reply.
When you wait a few seconds to let their words sink in before you reply, then you have actively listened.
What if they ask why aren’t you responding? Say something like this, “I’m just thinking about what you said.” Wow! Think of the positive effect that this sort of respect for their words and ideas will have on them!
Now you’re listening.
Then you share your own ideas, comments or suggestions without judgement.