Have you found yourself listening to someone, and whilst you are listening (hearing them) you are in fact:
* thinking about your to do list;
* can’t wait to butt in and say your 5 cents;
* thinking when are they going to stop talking;
* looking at your phone;
* listening to another conversation;
* thinking what can you eat next!
The same can go for when you are reading a book. You’ve read a whole page and then thought, what did I just read? Unconsciously or consciously your mind was else where. Simply you were not present. You were not taking in the words.
Do any of these sounds familiar? You may have your own list of distractions. What it is showing is that you are not present. You are not actively listening. I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say I do the above and probably a few more unconsciously when someone is talking to me, I’ll also admit I am aware of it and working on changing this behaviour.
There is nothing better, and no doubt we’ve had these conversations when you FELT HEARD. Can you remember a time when you were talking about a subject to your friend or partner and they are LOOKING at you, ACKNOWLEDGING you ( a head nod, a smile, a look) and just ALLOWING you to talk. It could be about your shitty day, to how you cooked the dinner to something that is quite emotional for you. The fact you felt listened too can mean the world for someone. It does to me 🙂
Listening comes in many forms… Did you know that?
You can HEAR the words. Ask for clarification if you need
You can be present – solely focus on the person. Put your phone down! Look them in the eye
You WATCH the person and their physiology – eyes, body movement. Tears in eyes could mean they are emotional
HEAR the tone of the voice. When someones shows emotion such as anger, frustration, happiness & sadness it shows up in the voice/tone…
Stop THINKING about what else is going on in your head, and pay attention to the person communicating with you.
Don’t GUESS what’s going on for the person.
PAY ATTENTION & RESPECT
Listening is a SKILL. We can all build on a skill and make it stronger.
Next time someone starts having a conversation with you. Leave your head and be there with that person. Watch them, hear them and be there in the moment and respect. Note how much you pick up on from what the person ISN’T saying. Sometimes there is more in what’s NOT spoken.