Over the last few weeks, I have been focusing on my listening habits and those of others. How intently do I listen? Is the other person really listening to me or are they just agreeing and readying their next response. You’ve been there, sitting across from “that guy” knowing he isn’t hearing a word you are saying. How does that feel? Not so good, right?
How to listen
Listening is a skill that requires discipline and practice and is key to healthy communication. To really hear another person is to put your thoughts and opinions to the side. To intently take in what someone else is saying, you must not only be in tune to their words, but also their inflection, body language and expressions.
Good first steps to improve your listening skills:
- Be genuinely open and curious about what the other person is saying.
- Put aside your own monkey mind, judgments and notions.
- Reflect back to that person that you heard them and understand before launching into your next statement.
If you practice these tips and really pay attention to the other person, you won’t be “that guy” and will reap the rewards of healthier communication and connection.
image courtesy: Jesslee Cuizon