My sister, Wendy, is very spontaneous. One day she just dropped in to say hi. I love being spontaneous myself, so this never bothers me. After talking to Wendy for only a few moments, she said she needed to get going. I asked her to stay longer She changed her mind, and ended up staying longer. We had a wonderful visit. If I hadn’t asked her to stay, she would have left earlier. It is important to encourage others to continue talking, if you want to be a good listener.
How many people cut off another person, with this sometimes toxic statement “I know that.”? It makes the other person clam up and stop talking. I think it is fun to pretend ignorance in order to encourage others to express their views fully.
I remember my mom was having a hard time getting my Dad to listen to her one evening. My Dad who is a very driven person, loves focusing on helping people and solving problems. He was not paying attention to my Mom.
Without missing a beat, my Mom said she was going with the children to pick out a Saint Bernard pup. Mom and Dad had agreed to never get a large dog. My Dad said that will be fine without really paying attention to what my Mom was saying. Then all of a sudden he said, “Saint Bernard?” Then my Mom said, “Got ya.” I need you to listen to what I am saying, so I wanted to say something crazy to get your attention.”
When you paraphrase and restate what the other person is saying in different words, this will allow he or she to confirm that you have understood what they intended. Or you can say something wild like my Mom, did to get my Dad’s attention.
One of the best ways to be an effective listener is to sympathize with others. When you can honestly put yourself in another persons shoes, people will open up, and trust you with their feelings.
Effective listening is never old fashioned. What a great way to win more friends, and influence people. Your family will benefit from it as well.