Some people are hard of hearing, but many more are hard of listening. In this blogpost you will find out why!
As a relationship coach, I spend lots of time listening to people describe their situation, their problem, their frustration, etc. My clients expect me to listen and understand their challenges. In many respects, I am a “professional listener.”
There was a time when I was hard of listening. Coming from a boisterous Cuban culture, where people tend to speak over each other and finish each other’s sentences, listening did not come naturally to me. I had to learn and practice for a long time before it became a consistent part of who I am. Therefore, I know by experience that listening - wholehearted listening - is difficult.
Why is listening difficult?
- Your mind does not want to pay attention; it strolls away, looses it’s focus, after a relatively short time.
- You think faster than people talk, 4 times faster. Then you use the extra time to rehearse your responses.
- Other things, like your “to do” list, distract you.
- People can be boring. They can dwell on irrelevant details, go in circles, or express half formed ideas.
- You have too much on your mind.
- You have preconceptions that color what others say.
- You think the person speaking (like a child) has nothing of value to contribute.
- You can’t hear well: too much noise in the place, the speaker is whispering, or you have too much inner noise.
- You are in a hurry. No time to listen! (one of the most common!)
Don’t be hard of listening!
Couples who listen earn the respect of their partner and discover important things about how the relationship is going.
True listening promotes cooperation, it assumes the other person has worth, dignity and something to offer. It makes the other person feel loved and valuable. How are you in the listening department?
Here is an infographic I made with a few simple suggestion for how to listen better:
Listening is an act of love and respect that matters. Take time to listen!
Listening is just one of the skills for good communication. If you want to explore more Do's and Don'ts of communication, so that by restoring effective communication you can bring connection back to your relationship. Ask for it here below: