Are You Communicating or Just Talking? – Part 2
When having a conversation with someone, do you tend to actively listen and respond to what they are saying, or are you already thinking of what you want to say once their “turn” is up?
Listening and Responding Vs. Formulating a Response
The goal of effective communication is listening and understanding, and yet we are all guilty of times where we begin formulating our response before we’ve taken the time to truly listen to the other person. Even if we do accurately understand the other person, it can also be difficult to remember at times to let the other person know we’ve heard them by using reflective listening.
This skill can be especially difficult in arguments where both people may be feeling hurt. In these situations, both people are longing to feel understood by the other person, which can easily result in both people being self-focused, not listening to the other person. This doesn’t work well in communication. Even when we are hurt, we can still take time to love and understand the other person. This will only begin mending the hurts and make it easier for them to listen to you fully as well. Attempt to slow down when the other person is talking and try to fully listen even if you are feeling misunderstood yourself. True understanding in a relationship can only happen one person at a time, so someone will need to take the first step. Remember, it will benefit both of you in the end.
It fills a deep desire in each of us to feel understood and listened to. We have the opportunity to give this gift to others by choosing to take the time to focus on listening to them instead of thinking of our own response.
(Click here to read Part 1 of Are You Communicating or Just Talking?)
by Brendon Byrne