I know in my own life this has been one of the biggest struggles for me and in my home. The skill of listening to another does not come easy, and that is exactly what it is, listening is a skill.
How about this as food for thought.
When you learn how to listen you will be heard.
Active listening is a skill I learned many moons ago. When I am aware and I use this skill I see amazing results especially in my children.
What is required first is an intention to put your own needs for being right or having all the answers, out of the way and opening up to the person in front of you. There is no attitude of “fixing” here because nothing is broken. Problems and struggles are a normal part of our human experience and when we are given space to find our own way, we build resilience and trust in self.
Next is a clear mind. Give all of your awareness or attention to the person in front of you. Move away from all distractions and keep your focus on what the person is saying.
This next step is fundamental to the practice of listening and possibly where the challenge lies for the listener.
Repeat back to the person what you have heard them say.
This is GOLD.
I can’t count how many times I was sure what the person was saying to me, I have repeated this back to them and they’ve come straight back with “no , that’s not what I’m saying, this is what I’m saying.” This practice brings clarity and sometimes lightness to the conversation. Once you are both on the same page, and have an understanding and connection the energy shifts. An openness comes and maybe a realisation of what is happening on a deeper level or a simple action to begin the next part of the journey. A little validation here can be like the icing on the cake.
Being heard is the greatest gift you can ever give anyone.
As we use this skill we begin to cultivate real connection with our friends, family and colleagues. When you experience being listened to, you want more than anything to return this gift.
I remember fully the first time I experienced active listening. I was at a party and began to speak with a friend of mine. After a few minutes I felt like I was the only person in the room and that this person knew me and understood me and got what I was saying. I loved this. Once I discovered active listening I knew I had to learn this and share the same experience with others.
This is a beautiful practice for your friends or family who have a problem. As you give them all of your attention and create a loving space where they can be heard. This allows a safe container or space for them to explore feelings, needs and boundaries without judgement. Most of the time, in this space, they find their own solutions and are so grateful for the time and energy you have shared. There’s relief, happiness and confidence restored.
Please give this a go.
Any questions ?
Take advantage of my 30 minute free discovery call where I can assist you to find clarity in your life and support you to listen and be heard.