Do you want to connect with people? Learn how to listen. The act of listening has the power to heal. In every conversation, there has to be a good listener and someone that cares about the other person. Be that person. Don’t worry, your turn will come, but for now, let’s practice listening with compassion.
I am not going to argue with you. It’s hard, but it is worth the effort. In the past, I used to start to think about what my response was going to be and not listen to a word the other person was saying. It’s was embarrassing when I couldn’t respond. Through practice and giving attention to what is important, I have improved, and now I can say that I listen to understand and not to respond. It’s a breakthrough.
How did I do it? It took a lot of work and patience. First, I had to realize that I had a problem. Then, I started being intentional about wanting to improve.
Below you will find five tips to help you improve your listening skills.
Put your interests aside and pay attention to what the person has to say. For example, if you asked the person what did you do last night? Allow them to finish their thought and enjoy the response.
It is a mission not to interrupt, but don’t do it. How? By practicing. The next time you have a conversation with someone, be present and participate with intention. Build your patience and listen.
Remember that we are all one, we are connected. If someone is trusting you, do not judge them. Be compassionate and create a safe place for your friend. Remember the “Golden Rule” "Do to others what you want them to do to you.” Matthew 7:12.
Don’t Be Quick To Reply
Practice, practice, practice. It takes a lot of practice to listen to understand and not to respond. It shows emotional strength on your part. Give your full attention. Ask questions along the way, if you find yourself finding words to answer, stop yourself and get back on track by asking questions. If you do not understand your friend, ask for clarification and continue. Remember it’s about understanding, not replying.
The way to be engaged is to ask questions. Questions like, tell me more or how did that make you feel? It is powerful when you get to connect with someone on a personal level. Try it.
In summary, these are important rules. You will have your turn to speak. Just wait and learn from all of your conversations. Remember the Golden Rule!
Until next week,
Do you have a hard time listening with compassion?
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