I read a beautiful quote the other day;
“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” —David W. Augsburger
Active listening and really hearing what the other person is saying is a skill we can take for granted.
For a lot of people I work with, they’ve felt unheard for a lot of their lives.
This can lead to them shutting down and not bothering to talk about how they feel anymore.
I’ve definitely experienced that in past relationships to the point where I felt not only unheard but also unseen, unimportant and unloved.
It’s not always easy to truly hear and understand someone else, especially if they’re very different from us.
But what is important is that we do our best to understand.
You can show you care in conversations by summarising what they’re saying, reflecting back to them in your own words and asking, “did I understand that correctly?”
This builds rapport, connection and trust.
All of us can improve our listening skills.
I fully admit I can definitely work on this at home; I spend my entire work day focusing on active listening and so when I get home to relax (sometimes not finishing with clients until 8pm), I sometimes don’t have the bandwidth in my brain to be able to listen effectively.
If there’s an important conversation to be had, I’ll wait until my energy is right so I know I can properly focus.
I don’t ever want the other person to think I don’t care or that they don’t matter.
Could your listening skills do with some improvement?
What commitment can you make today to help whoever you’re speaking to feel truly heard?
Something to think about.
Catcha on the flip side,