Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

Listening carefully

on February 26, 2014

In Choosing Happiness  by Stephanie Dowrick, she writes a page on how to listen carefully, and I thought she had great points! Here are a few:

  • Clear space in your mind. Set aside your preconceptions
  • Relax your body. Focus on letting that tension go.
  • Give yourself permission to do nothing but listen.
  • Activate all your senses as you listen. Watch the other person’s face, breathing, body, and gestures. Listen to what lies behind the words. (Note – I really liked this advice! Often I’m multitasking and not being attentive enough)
  • Be respectful of the emotions that are being expressed.
  • Do not interrupt. Even when there’s a pause, let the speaker have time to think.
  • Strictly censor your questions – especially nervous or intrusive ones.
  • Value silence. Your listening, attention, facial expression and body language are all “speaking”.
  • Do not top their story with your own (“I understand completely… in fact, I used to…”)
  • Do not give advice unless it’s asked for. Giving advice can be nothing more than a way to deal with your own tension. If you must give advice, do so in the first person. And do it undogmatically. (“I might…”, “What’s sometimes worked for me is…”)
  • At the end of the conversation acknowledge what has been shared (“I am really touched by what you’ve told me” “You’ve give me so much to think about”)
  • Use your listening skills to listen to yourself. Find out what you habitually talk about; know how your voice sounds; recognize the emotions that drive the way you speak; what version of your “self” you are most often presenting.
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