The Art of Listening
Communication is key to the success of a relationship, and listening is half of that equation. Probably the most important thing we can do in a relationship is to listen to the other person. When we feel heard, and understood, we feel safe and cared for. Listening is active and sometimes we have to practice to learn how to really do it well. Here are some tips:
– Focus on the person speaking. Let that person talk while you hear what they have to say. Make eye contact, and give feedback with body language such as nodding your head when you agree or understand.
– Pay attention to what is being said. Try to understand before you speak. Look for the main points that the person is sharing, and observe the person’s body language as they are speaking. This will give you clues as to how they feel about what they are saying.
– Ask questions. It shows the person that you care about what they are saying. Ask them to clarify any points that you don’t understand.
– When appropriate, take notes. When you’re in a meeting and will be asked to remember the information later, write down what you need to know. Think about how this information is relevant to you, and that will help you to remember it.