Sean, here again: Are you listening? We have been talking about actively expressing ourselves and now we are going to talk about active listening.
One word, one thought at a time
Right after expressing ourselves, comes paying attention to the response of others to our expressions. On the one hand we are responsible for sharing ourselves, our thoughts and our feelings and on the other hand we have the opportunity to experience another’s self, thoughts and feelings when we actively listen.
If we take the opportunity and handle it with care. We can allow a conversation to become a true dialogue. Where we actively support our conversation partner and allow them to share in a safe space.
We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.Zeno of Citium, as quoted by Diogenes Laërtius
- Eye contact,
- Body language,
- making I statements like I am hearing…, I understand….
- Asking suitable questions
Further techniques to encourage our partners to share include:
- Neutral Responses,
One of the greatest benefits of actively listening is being able to understand and really hear your conversation partner. In other words, you create a space in time where and when you are both able to hear and be heard in a way that encourages trust, support, intimacy and authenticity.
Hence the beginning of establishing potential for more, more conversation, more intimacy and even more authenticity.
If you are ready, willing and able to actively listen, then perhaps you are also ready willing and able to authentically share a dialogue with the ones you are with.
I encourage you to take a chance and make a moment to try out some of these techniques with someone you care about. See how is goes. I would love to hear about your process.
This is Sean signing off.