My fiancée complains that I am not listening to her. When she talks, I stare into her eyes and listen to every word. Even if I’m really thinking about work or wondering when I’m going to get a chance to check for messages. I try very hard not to interrupt. Then when she’s through I feed her back what she just said so she knows I’ve been listening. Isn’t that enough?
–JR, Orlando, FL
In my opinion, developing listening relationships is a fine-tuned art.
Be the energy giver not the energy taker.
- Forget about not speaking when others are talking.
- Forget about not interrupting.
- Forget about making strange sounds acknowledging that you are listening, such as, yeah, oh, ah, mmm, to make her think you’re following her train of thought.
What you really want to do is to engage in a conversation by asking questions.
Be curious as to what she’s thinking, feeling and trying to communicate to you.
Find out what role she expects you to play, what plans she wants you to be part of, what advice she might need.
Turn what your fiancée is saying into a two-way conversation. That doesn’t mean mirroring back what she just said to prove that you were listening.
Real listening is interactive conversation that fosters curiosity. Listening is not about sitting passively feigning interest.
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Accepting A Compliment