People want to be right…
People want to be smart…
People want to be heard…
Two ears to listen and one mouth to speak; that is how we mammals are designed.
Listen with your entire body. What do you see, sense, know, and feel while you pay attention? What does your gut feel? What does your heart know?
Are you composing a response in your head while you listen or are you actively listening with everything you have?
Paraphrase for clarity, but don’t just “parrot phrase” like the cheesy therapists on tv. Repeat to clarify your understanding, especially if what you heard triggers a response in you.
Trigger! Trigger! Trigger!
Stop the conversation for a moment to determine where those feelings are coming from.
I just need a moment. When you said this, I felt that and I want to understand where that came from…
We have to understand how we listen, to be able to hear more clearly. Our own thoughts, feelings, and emotions get in the way of truly hearing what the other person is saying.
For instance, we could meet something new whose voice reminds us of someone in our past, which sets off all sorts of memories. It lights up the path to old roads, old journeys and experiences. Our pathways get jammed up with old stuff so we cannot possibly take in the new information. There is no room on the neural network!
Make a statement
Ask a question
This was such wise advice.
Have you ever made someone entirely wrong in your head, only to find out you completely misunderstood the key thing they said that you based your entire wrong assessment upon?
Is this a story you are telling yourself?
Loads of times, we decide we heard something unsaid; we decide we know what someone else meant and make a big story, a grand assumption around our opinion of what we heard, how we heard it, never stopping to ask them for clarification. We truly do not know what they meant at all.
For our own peace of mind, it is imperative to build the habit of not assuming things. Be brave enough to ask the tough questions before making grand, usually unfavorable conclusions in the mind.