by Gladys Diaz
Let’s talk about listening.
It’s been said that listening is 50% of the communication process.
Well, we think differently!
Listening is 100% of communication because, if you’re not actively listening, you’re not really having a conversation.
If you’re not listening you’re having a monologue, instead of a dialogue, and that isn’t really a conversation, now, is it?
We’re talking about not just listening, but really hearing what the other person is saying.
Have you ever had this experience of listening vs. hearing?
Think about a clock that ticks in your house. Probably, most of the time you don’t even notice the ticking, or you might hear it and it doesn’t really affect you. Now think about how you feel when you tune into it and all of the sudden the ticking becomes 10 times louder and drives you absolutely crazy!
It’s maddening right?!
Kind of a silly example, but do you see the difference between listening and actually hearing?
Hearing involves attention and presence, and is so very important in dating and relationships.
If you’re dating, you’re aiming to get to know people well enough to know if you want to keep getting to know them. How do you do that if you’re not listening well?
Really listening can help you catch key things you may otherwise have missed that can cause you to either want to get to know someone better, or save you lots of heartache and wasted time in the long run.
If you’re in a relationship, one of the most loving things you can do for your partner is to simply listen without saying a word.
How often do you do that?
We get it,. It’s not always easy. As mothers and wives we get how easy it is to give in to the desire to say something from a desire to support and help the other person.
However, when someone feels heard, they feel acknowledged, loved, cared for, seen, known and understood.
And those are beautiful gifts to receive!
So, how do you listen so you actually hear the other person?
It starts with being in control of the voice in your head. You know, the voice that is constantly thinking about, judging and placing opinions on everything you hear.
That voice that just asked if you have one of those voices… Yep, that’s the one!
Acknowledge you have that voice so you can start turning the volume down on it and really listening when others are talking.
The next step is to be an active listener.
What does that mean?
Engage with the conversation. Ask questions and seek to understand. Refrain from interrupting and interjecting your own thoughts and opinions, but let the other person know you’re listening by showing you’re invested in the conversation.
You can also say periodically things like, “I want to make sure I’m hearing you….” or “What I’m hearing you say is…” so that you can make sure you are understanding what they are trying to communicate.
The experience on the receiving end of these questions is one of “Wow! She really cares about me and wants to make sure she understands me!”
If you want to show a lot of courage, you could also ask at the end of a conversation how the other person felt about your listening. And then listen for the feedback of what the other person’s experience was.
You can become a better listener just by asking for feedback along the way!
In communication, the words you say, how you say them, and how you listen are the keys to making a difference for people in your life.
These tools work across the board. How would your relationships in all walks of life — work, family, friendships — benefit from better listening?
If you’d like some support with recognizing the blocks in your own listening patterns, that’s what we’re here for! We know the tools of communication that work in relationships — AND the ones that don’t — so that you can experience greater levels of love, trust and intimacy with those you love and care about.
Think of the number of people in your life who are important to you and how communicating better would make a difference for them. Think about how this could transform the communication and connection in your relationships.
It’s a complete game changer when you know how to use the tools! We want you to go out in your life and have beautiful conversations that make a difference for you and the person you love!