We would all like to think we are attentive listeners. In our minds, our communications with others are an interactive exchange of ideas and opinions. The truth is we argue because each party feels the need not only to be heard. But, to be right! Why are they so unreasonable we ask ourselves? Often, even though we are looking at someone squarely in their eyes; our minds are racing to come up with a witty or defensive response.
This is especially true if the other person is saying something we just do not want to hear. How well do you listen? Do you leave space in relationships for others to speak their truth? Being a good listener diffuses conflict and opens the door to real dialogue.
You can gage how well you listen to the depths of your relationships. Is the closeness you believe you have a figment of your imagination. The next conversation you have to try this: don’t just look attentive. Repeat everything the person says in your head. This will force you to really hear what they are saying and stop you from going into response mode.
Whether it’s a child, co- worker or someone we love, we all want respect and honor in our relationships. These cannot exist without real listening. Don’t physically, emotionally, or mentally turn your back on a conversation. Resist the need to be right! Open your spirit and listen for real.