Practice Active Listening to Improve a Relationship
Active listening is a skill that one possesses and has developed a specific communication that allows one to fully hear what another person is trying to say. Listening and communication should be hand-in-hand and when two individuals communicate and listen in a meaningful way results to a long term relationship success.
Allow time 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.
See yourself in the other person’s shoes
When you are in a dialogue with another person, you must establish a goal on focusing more on the other person’s emotional needs; in this way, you are putting yourself in the person’s shoes during the conversation and, in this way, you will be able to understand his/her perspective better and, at the same time, you begin to be an active listener, one who listens and tries to understand the other person’s side.
It is not right to immediately make conclusions when you are in the middle of a dialogue with a person because it means that you already have a pre-existing belief about the person and that blocks you from doing an active listening; therefore, to avoid this, clear your thought from this pre-existing belief and focus more on the dialogue, making a goal to resolve the issue for the betterment of both parties.
Conduct proper questioning
After the other person has finished speaking his/her position, conduct proper questioning on some issues that you are not cleared of and do not set a tone of being accusative in order not to give the other person the impression that you are not willing to make it up, but, instead, listen well to the person’s answer so you can digest what is the truth in his/her statements.
Part of making clear with issues that are in the process of being resolved through a dialogue is to paraphrase what the other person says, not to be rude about it but to confirm whether you heard all of the other person’s statements right; doing this makes you to communicate back the points he/she has made objectively and the exchange of conversation that comes with this can help you continue to be an active listener. To become an effective communicator, you just have to learn to listen just as much as you need to learn to speak, so that whether you are in a one-on-one conversation or in a group meeting, focusing on what others are saying allows you to put yourself in a more effective position, because when you listen correctly, you also learn more.