Are you really Listening?
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
Are you a good listener? Most people are not. We often are waiting (not so patiently) for the person to finish what they are saying so that we can say what has come to our mind –> or even worse we are cutting them off by saying something like “Yes. Yes”, so that we can get on with what we have to say. Have you ever experienced this? When it happens TO you, you feel dismissed and unheard.
This type of behavior is pretty common in our fast paced/impatient world. Whether you know if you are a good listener or not, try paying attention to your listening skills. Notice if you cut people off. Notice how you feel when the other person is talking. Notice your body position. Notice your thoughts. Notice if you are being curious about what they are saying. Notice if you are genuinely open to learning from what they are telling you. This will start to inform you about your listening skills.
Once you start to notice your listening habits, try improving them and begin to listen mindfully. Start by not saying anything while the other person is talking – nothing at all. Even if you feel the need to “help” them – don’t say a word. If this is a struggle, try making sure you are breathing evenly and slowly while listening. Then, be curious about what they are saying. Notice when you are no longer “listening” and bring yourself back to listening without judgement. Try this for an entire day and observe how differently you experience conversations.
Note: Mindful Listening is focusing your attention in the present moment on what the other person is saying without judgment.