Taking Turns: Talking AND Listening
Communication tips may come in many forms and varieties, but one thing is sure:
If one person isn’t really listening while the other person is talking, there are bound to be all kinds of miscommunication problems!
What does it mean to really listen?
Really listening would mean:
- Paying attention
- Looking at the speaker
- Not being distracted by devices or other things
- Giving feedback, verbally or non-verbally
- Asking pertinent and relevant questions
- Not interrupting
- Letting go of our agenda, and not just waiting for our turn to speak
- Trying to really understand what the speaker is saying
Phew! That sounds like a lot of hard work!!!
And it is! Anyone whose day or work involves a lot of listening will tell you that it can be quite draining and require a lot of work!
But the benefits of offering your speaking partner your full attention and developing good listening skills are many:
- Better understanding
- Less potential arguments
- Improved relationships
- Greater knowledge
- Good listening may be returned when it is our turn to speak
The benefits of good listening skills are many, and this list is not meant to be exhaustive. One of the most important things we can give to somebody is our time and attention. Why not give it in a way that also maximizes “our time” by trying to get better at really giving our full attention and concentration when somebody is wanting and needing our attention.
As alluded to in previous posts on communication, making sure that we have the listener’s attention before we start to talk, and making sure that both parties are in a good space, both physically, mentally and emotionally may greatly enhance our chances of having a good rewarding conversation.
The good news is that we can start getting better at this today!
It just takes an earnest desire to really listen to what our partner or friend is saying, and not to assume that we know what they mean. When we are in doubt, maybe that is the time to ask for clarification? And when it is our turn to talk, then we make as much effort as we are able to, to speak in terms that we hope our conversation partner will understand.
Message well chosen, delivered and received, and responded to!
If you are enjoying these communication tips, then I’ve got good news for you! Click HERE to find out how to communciate better in your relationship!