We all heard you have two ears but one mouth, use them accordingly. I personally think a good listener is trainee class toward excellent communicator. Here are a tip or two.
- Why listening is important
Let’s start with a situation that most of us are very familiar with. Husband and wife, the morning before they both head out to work.
Husband: honey, I can’t come to tonight’s dance recital for Annie, I just got an email from the boss, he needs me to sit in a meeting/dinner tonight, it is last minute but I have no choice (interrupted with the wife)
Wife: john you always like this, cancel things the last minute, do you know she has been preparing this for so long. Blah blah blah.
The wife carries on the conversation nonstop, husband didn’t say anything, left house in the bad mood and slam the door. Wife sat down angrily….
Did this situation end well? Of course not, both parties are angry, nothing is solved in fact I guarantee you when those two meet again the same night they will carry on this fight. So, let change the situation a bit, and apply some basic rules of how to be a good listener, then re-visit the situation and see if the outcome of the situation changes or not.
Rule number 1, be patient! Let the speakers/communicators finish first!
Lisa interrupted John before he even finishes what he wants to communicate.
Rule number 2: be engaged!
Rather Lisa shows her back to john, as way to create barrier between them, she can create eye contact instead, nodding , agreeing encourage john to present all the reasons and background information of his decision.
Rule number 3: be open minded rather than cynical.
We all have our education, background, culture, race, religion and belief system to shape what we are and who we are today. Those factors make us unique also cynical. Because we are comfortable with what we know and have tendency to reject or disapprove others who see differently than us, when you listen, put all those elements behind, simply listen openly and see what is the objective of this communicator,
This is Lisa and john situation, Lisa immediately jumps into conclusion that John is breaking his promise one more time, and she immediate jumps to the conclusion that John likes to cancel on her, and it is habit of him. The worse conclusion is Lisa thinks John views work and career more important then her and her daughter. What is the tendency she is going to think… insecurity, jealousy, and sense of abandonment but is it true? Lisa by using her own view to create a false image of her husband John by not being open minded to see what is the objective of John’s contents.