Wellness Tip: Listening Is An Art
Listening to others isn’t as easy as it seems sometimes. I find myself wanting to interject, ask questions, and offer advice when others are talking. It takes great discipline to intently listen to others, to listen with my ears and my heart. Here are some keys to being a good listener:
1) Be present in the conversation. Try not to be distracted by things happening around you. My grandpa was great at making people feel like they were the only one in the room. Listening intently, with full attention, makes the other person feel valuable.
2) Focus on what they are saying and repeat it. We women can easily multitask. So it is easy for us to listen to what someone is saying while also making a grocery list in our heads. It is easy to get distracted during conversation, so in order to focus, repeat back to the person what you think they said. This keeps your mind engaged.
3) Make it a safe place. When someone is speaking to you, don’t be quick to judge or give advice. Often times, advice is received a lot easier when it is solicited. When others feel like we are genuinely concerned about what they are saying, they feel safe. When you hear what they say, with your ears and your heart, then they feel connected.
Being a good listener is something I work hard at. Giving advice, having answers, or alternative ways of doing things, often comes easily to me. Rather than blurting these things out, I try to focus on letting others speak.
For me, when I need to talk and am allowed to speak my thoughts and process the situation out loud, I often am able to reveal my own answers. Sometimes, I just enjoy having someone to bounce things off of, rather than needing an answer. This may ring true for you or people in your life as well. What are some techniques that you use to really listen to others?