How Active Listening Can Help Improve a Relationship
Active listening refers to the process by which a person has that listening skill and is able to develop a form of communication that will allow him/her to reach out to another person by fully hearing what that person is trying to say. For a couple to achieve a long term relationship, it is vital that they communicate and listen in a meaningful way.
Providing space for the other person to speak
When you allow time for the other person to speak, this is already indicating that you will also take effort to refrain yourself from arguing your case while the other person is stating his/her position or to resist the urge to interrupt and cut off the other person speaking, and, therefore, when you do these, you will have more chances of listening well to the person speaking and understanding what he/she is driving at.
Allow yourself to be in the other person’s shoes
In a dialogue conversation, to be an active listener is to see yourself in the other person’s shoes, putting more importance on the other person’s emotional needs and, in this way, you will have the opportunity to understand the other person’s perspective.
Avoid the negative thought of jumping to conclusions about the other person, especially when you both are in the middle of a dialogue, because this indicates that you have already entertained in your mind a pre-existing belief about the other person, which can block your skill of being an active listener, therefore, focus more on how to resolve your relationship issues in a positive way.
During the process of communication and listening to each other, when the other person has finished his/her position, it’s time to ask questions for clarification purposes, but don’t set the tone of asking questions like you are making accusations, and when the other person answers your questions, listen well to determine the truth of his/her statements.
Rephrase what the other person says
By summarizing what you heard from the other person, you are just confirming if you heard everything right, which also confirms your being an active listener, due to the fact that as you communicate back the points he/she has made objectively and, in doing so, you have understood clearly the other person’s point of view. Being an effective communicator means you are also learning how to listen just as much as you need to learn to speak, so that when you are in a dialogue to resolve a relationship, by focusing on what the other person is saying will actually allow you to put yourself in a good position to understand more the situation and this is a result of listening correctly, which means that you are learning more on the issue concerned.
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