What does it mean to really listen to someone? How do you keep your mind from wandering during a conversation?
As humans we all have a deep desire for intimacy and therefore a desire to be heard and understood. Listening is a key skill and component to any relationship. Here are a few tips to help you better actively and intentionally listen to others.
Tip #1 – Be Present
Stay present in the room and be rooted in the current conversation, moment, situation. Ultimately, though it may take some practice, you can catch runaway thoughts and stay focused on the present.
Tip #2 – Positive Body Language
When talking with someone show them that you are listening by nodding and verbally acknowledging what they are saying. Something as simple as facing them, eye contact, and nodding can make a world of a difference.
Tip #3 – Reflect Back
If you really want someone to know that you are listening, reflect back what they are saying. This often means to repeat verbatim what someone tells you. It sounds simple, but it clearly shows you understand what is being said.
Tip # 4 – Listen to Listen
Often times we are listening to respond and not to understand. Listening to actually listen means first seeking to understand before providing feedback, opinions, or advice.
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