“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention.” Thich Nhat Hanh
We like to talk, share our opinion, share about the stuff we do with people around us. That’s cool. But we’re so used to do that we don’t know when to stop. We’ve forgotten how to listen in the non-stop share your mind on social media world.
Think about it how many of us are actually really good in listening to others. I know I mildly said suck at it. I’m guessing many of us do, if we dare to admit.
Here is how I realized it the other day. I had a conversation with someone, while she was explaining the difficulties she was facing, thoughts she was having about the situation, possible future plans. I listened and didn’t say a thing.
This is where I got myself lying to myself and her. In fact I didn’t listen at all, I appeared as if I was listening. Sure I heard what she was saying but I didn’t really listen.
To my own defense I really tried, but instead I was in my own thoughts, already thinking about possible advice I could give to help her.
I’m telling you, this is a habit I want to change.
Think about it, how many times have you tried to speak to someone, share something important with your friend .
All you probably want at this point is to voice out the issue and be heard.
You don’t want any advice or comments, just to be heard without interruption. You don’t their life experience either, good and bad, because that doesn’t make sense in your life anyway.
But most importantly you feel like disrespected and not heard. For some reason this kind of listening, makes you feel like you’re not important, and you can’t really explain why.
This is exactly, what I caught myself doing.
Ever since I noticed this in myself, I’ve tried to change.
This is how I’ve changed and improved listening to others. And hopefully become a better listener….with time.
- Become a champ of patience. Really listen, don’t wait the talker to be done. Notice some positive things about the person. The color of their hair, eyes, clothes. Just be there and listen. When we truly listen, we have deep eye contact and we’re fully in now. The thing is that the listener can really sense if they’re heard. So put some effort in it. It’s so worth it!
- Don’t judge, react or comment. While listening, don’t thing about possible things to suggest or do, this is about the talker, not the listener. Silent your own ideas, thoughts and comments. In fact don’t say anything or come up with any comment. That allows understanding and compassion to come forward.
- Allow quiet moments. When the person is done talking, don’t jump into talking. Allow a little silence. That makes sure that the person who is talking gets a chance to think for a second, maybe they forgot something important, so allow them to truly be done talking.
- Ask questions. This is where you can maybe help a little. You’ve probably remained objective about the issue, that’s if you haven’t jumped into giving advice. Ask questions! By asking questions, you allow the person find their own solution and feel proud about it. It puts the person in a position where they feel they’re in charge of their life, which they’re supposed to be anyway. Asking questions shows that this is not about you, but them. It allows them to stay true to their life experience and their ways of dealing it. Asking questions remains focus on them, not about you and your experience.
“Silent and listen are spelled with the same letters.” Author Unknown
Check this great chat about it. Skip the commercial!
This is a fab article: For the leader in you
Do share your tips about how to improve listening skills?