6 Tips To Help You Be A Better Listener
We’ve probably all had an experience we were going through and we really just wanted somebody to be able to hear us. Commonly known as “venting.” The value of having somebody attentively listen to what we are going through is a treasure. To feel heard, valued, appreciated, and acknowledged in our experience and opinion is extremely nurturing. This gift that we have the ability to give and receive is truly an important part of what it means to be in healthy relationships and to feel valued as a person. To learn how to be a good listener is a pertinent tool for making our lives and relationships graceful, fulfilling and efficient. Use the six tools to deepen your listening abilities.
1. Make eye contact.
They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. By becoming engaged in somebody’s eyes you can learn a lot about what somebody is experiencing. I contact creates a sense of connectivity and as humans we appreciate empathic understanding. Use your eyes as a tool for engaging in healthy human interaction.
2. Become quiet inside.
So often our internal dialogue distracts us while we are processing what somebody else is saying, so much so at times we often actually hear very little of what it is they are saying, just an inner interpretation through so many of our own filters. Although we can do our best to suspend our chatter to be present, open and engaged loving support for whomever we’re in conversation with.
3. Focus on your breathing.
When we turn our attention inward and use our breath to become grounded and still inside we create an opening and receptive and he to really being able to hear what somebody else is saying. From this calm, grounded, Loving space we are able to authentically witness another person and create a supportive container for them to genuinely express themselves.
4. Do your best to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes.
By learning how to look at a situation from somebody else’s shoes we often find that there is a huge amount of validity to what they are saying. From this place of doing our best to understand, we become more available to truly hearing what somebody else is saying.
5. Set aside projections.
Because language is subjective, we often unknowingly project our own life circumstances on to somebody else’s knowingness or experience. By putting down our own projections of what they may be feeling or thinking we are able to more clearly understand what they may be going through.
6. Listen from your heart.
The mind is often full of distracting chatter. By using your attention to focus in the area of the heart you actually allow an awareness to emerge from deep within you. This quiet awareness allows everything to exist just as it is without the mines needing it to figure it out, or change it; we allow our uninhibited truth to rise to the surface. And from this place of an acquired we will find that the words we choose to speak when it is time are in perfect alignment with the integrity of the whole.
7. Focus on the emotion behind what somebody is saying.
Words are a tool for understanding. The way that the emotions move through the body and become available to perception is often clear indicators of what is at the heart of the matter. By focusing on the emotion behind what somebody is saying we can learn to speak to the truths that may be emerging from deep-seated places in the subconscious. By learning to acknowledge the emotion behind the communication we are more easily available to build and create rapport.
8. Repeat back to them what you’ve understood them to be saying and feeling.
“So what I think I’m hearing you say is…” This helps make sure that you fully understand what somebody is attempting to communicate to you. It can be easy to misunderstand, especially if either of us is heavily emotionally charged about the subject. We all experience and perceive the world in different ways and it can be really beneficial for our own understanding of their position to repeat back what we have heard, so that they have a mirror and can modify or affirm what we believe to understand.
9. Be compassionate.
Recognizing that if we had the same entire life’s experience as someone else, we may be feeling the same exact way. Understanding this allows us to be compassionate, meaning to bear with them. We’ve all had our own unique set of life experiences. These include our triumphs and our traumas, all of which work together to create who we are and how we perceive the world. By being compassionate to where somebody else maybe thinking and feeling from, we open a doorway, allowing them to be exactly where they are. Without needing to change them or tell them what they need or need not do. This can be the most powerful gift that we can offer somebody. As we all appreciate feeling validated and supported in our processes.
May you choose to have the courageousness to authentically witness another and share your genuine self-expression from a loving place, filled with understanding.