Change this one habit and change your life forever
Photo credit: Ralf Weiser
This habit is nasty and pervasive wherever you are: We listen to reply rather than listen to understand. I am splitting hairs you say? Think about your latest interactions with family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and may be even your boss. Are any of them really meeting you at eye level and do they take the time to hear you – really hear you? Active listening seems to be a lost art.
Your life will change forever when you learn to shift from wanting to reply to listening:
- Let the other person finish – period.
- Respond to the speaker by paraphrasing what you thought you heard he/ she said.
- Smile – it is such a great feeling in the first place and it invites the other person to share.
- Face the person and stop whatever you are doing. Show some respect.
- Turn any of your “yes, but” responses to “yes, and” – watch in awe what will happen.
- Watch your gesturing – no crossed arms or hands on hip.
- Make time and space for speaking with the person.
Nothing beats meeting people at eye level. Chances are that you are missing out on getting to know unbelievably interesting people. Following these few steps allows for other people to share experiences and knowledge that can be extremely helpful to know. What is more important is that you just may find new life long friends this way. Give that a try by listening to understand.