Listening is a skill that we don’t spend enough time learning and focusing on and as a result we don’t teach our children how to listen properly either. While I was training to be a Life Coach it was the first thing that we learned. We literally had to spend time listening to another persons problems or issues, without jumping in. Active listening take practice, we need to quieten down our mind and focus totally on what is being said. There were some fantastic results of improved relationships when parents decided to make an effort to truly listen to their children and teens. It can be the easiest thing to do, but we tend to get caught up with our tasks and choirs. Listening during specific times, like meal times or while you are in a car or on a journey with someone can be a good start.
Have the confidence to be yourself, to stand up and be heard when you think it is the right time. But also to be quiet and just listen when you think this is what is needed in a situation. It is amazing the amount of people who just talk over one another, each one just waiting for the opportunity to say the next thing and tell their story. It is only when you truly stop and listen to someone and engage in their story that you can really have a proper conversation and connect with that person.
What’s even worse than being a bad listener and jumping in with your story every chance you get, is being an interrupter! You know who you are, you don’t even let someone finish what they are saying, you cut the person off. It is sometimes done on talk shows, radio and tv. It comes across as very rude, impatient and childish.
Practice listening and you will be amazed what people will tell you. You can help someone with their troubles and worries by just listening to them, by being a sounding board. You will also soon realise how much you can learn by being a good listener. You will get your turn to talk and if you don’t, don’t let it worry you, you may have actually helped someone.