Mary, my close friend at university, often called me to join her for a meal late at night anytime she met any problems. Although I didn’t eat, she didn’t mind to have me join her as long as I would listen to her. Mary would tell me what she had been thinking and all things happened in her daily life anytime we met.
There was no other special reason why Mary often wanted to go out with me rather than I would listen and understand her. I didn’t say anything but just listened (which sounds not really believable because the ‘speaking’ identity part of me is really strong).
But the reason I could just listen, not speaking much because the feeling of being shared was a true happy feeling. I could see how passionate she was to speak when having someone to listen to her passionately. It is a beautiful feeling. Have you ever felt it? Being truly listened or truly listen to others!
I notice that any close friendship or relationship of mine comes is because of the same reason – truly listening.
And yes, there is a time, especially recent years, where I speak more than listen but I do know if I can listen more, the conversation or relationship is more effective. Listening is always a skill that I cultivate everyday.
In our CSpeaking gym (personal and leadership development community), even though we have the word ‘speaking’ there but we believe effective speaking or communication goes closely with effective listening.
Yesterday, we talked about ‘cultivation’ of skills/mindset and I found everyone did a great job in cultivating their speaking and confidence ability. Someone didn’t speak anything, now dared to share their ideas freely. Together with speaking, I found one skill we can cultivate better in our gym is ‘listening’.
Let’s cultivate it together!
Tips on listening
Effective active listening (a conversation context) – the golden rule ‘ Listen and hear rather than waiting to speak’:
- Paraphrase the speaker’s words back to him or her as a
“I see/hear/feel like you∙ are afraid of…”, “It seems
like she really confuses you.”
- Clarifying: Bringing vague material into sharper focus “Let
me see if I’ve got it all...”
- Perception Checking: Request for verification of your
“Let me see if I’ve got this right. You said you feel the project
is important, but at the same time you find it frustrating.
Is that what you are saying?”
- Validation: Acknowledge the individual’s challenges
“I appreciate your willingness to talk about…”
- Summarizing: Pulling it all together, organizing and
integrating the major aspects of your dialogue, “So it sounds
to me as if...”
- Empathy: Reflection of content and feeling.
“Your feel (state feeling) because (state content).”
- Remember that silence (as well as long pauses) can be golden.
You were born with two ears and one mouth for a reason.
(so that we can listen twice as much as we speak)
Lets listen, listen, listen more to develop together!
See you next Tuesday weekly meeting (6.30pm)or Saturday group coaching (6.30pm) at Lancaster, 20 Nui Truc.