Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk. It is an Absolute sincere form of respect.
Do you ever tell yourself how much you need to speak less and listen more? Join my club! I’ve got a confession to make, I really do need to learn how to become a better listener. I mean, after all, attention is most rare and purest kind of generosity! Not long ago, I had a bench talk with my mentor and he offered a few amazing tips on how he became a better listener, something we all strive do better.
‘I’m so glad you told me’
Offering a listening ear to someone who needs it, can be very therapeutic. The words, ‘I’m so glad you felt comfortable enough to tell me,’ can immediately put people at ease and opens a wider door of communication. You might be surprised by how much people would wish to bench in with someone or anyone who will give them a listening ear. Speaking less is always more!
Too Often we underline the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, the smallest act of caring, all of which bears the potential to turn a life around.Buscaglia
Identify & name the emotion
Identifying and naming the emotion is extremely useful. For instance, If your partner is angrily saying, ‘Ugh, I hate my job!’, there may be an instinct to shut that down. But the first thing is to name how they’re feeling. If you say to them, ‘Wow, you’re really angry!’ They’ll be like, ‘YES!!!! That’s it!’ You will see them relax instantly. People sometimes think that by naming it they’re going to make it worse. But sometimes that’s not the way it works. The person will feel relieved and understood, and that’s what they really need from a listener.
Become each other’s peace
Be open and curious
Two simple yet, sensitive questions: Curious and Judgmental. Say, your partner tells you that their boss screamed at them this morning, one question might be, ‘What did you do?’ The judgement is already there! Rather, be open and curious. You might want to ask, ‘Oh my, what happened? How did you feel?’ You want to create space for this person to talk and allow them to feel vulnerable without prejudiced.
Repeat things back
It’s 100% helpful to repeat things back. I’ll say, ‘I think I understand what you’re saying, but I want to be sure.’ You want to open the door to being wrong. ‘I think you were hurt when such-and-such was said to you, and it caused you to react negatively.’ And maybe the person will say, yes! Or maybe they’ll say, I actually felt more angry than hurt.
Resist the urge to problem solve
While listening, both men and women try to problem solve way too often. What it conveys to the person, in an unconscious way, is that ‘I can’t tolerate whatever you’re feeling right now.’ If your partner comes home from work and says, ‘I’m freaking out, I lost a big account,’ one response could be, ‘Well, how can you get it back?’ But instead, ask how that person is feeling. ‘Oh, that sounds so stressful. What was it like being at work all day worrying about that? Do you need a hug or a cuddle?’ They want to know that you’ll be here, even if they never get the business back. Sometimes people want help problem solving, but FIRST let them know, however they feel is totally reasonable and you want to hear about it. The more curious you can be with your partner, the more authentic and open they become.
Thanks As Always, Rekah.
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