1. Happiness
  2. Listeneing
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Leadership
  5. Whats the Goal
  6. Take Notes
  7. Doing Business With Relatives and Friends
  8. Books I recommend
  9. In All Partneship Agreements
  10. Speak the Truth In Love
  11. I'm Sorry ain't enough ....
  12. Two Biggest Bargains

Personal GEM #2: LISTENING

 

Listening skills are the key to all relationships.   How well persons navigate the turbulent waves of communicating successfully and amicably, especially listening for the other’s feelings is critical to having long term good relationships.

 

It requires that you be attentive to what is said and listen carefully to hear other person’s feelings.   Then to respond by validating his/her feelings and making his or her case better than he or she has made it.   That way, he/she will know without a doubt that you have really heard him/her.  

 

Listen for feelings.   Validate feelings.   A person wants to know that you understand his or her feelings before they will listen to anything you have to say.  

 

Keep in mind that validating ones feelings does not mean you agree with him or her.  

 

In order to show the other person that you do understand his or her feelings, say something like, “ Let me see if I understand you correctly, what I hear you saying is …… (repeating what you heard him or her has said) “Then wait—give no rebuttal—no advice—no correction—be patient.    It’s nearly impossible to do, but do it anyway.  

 

Wait until he/she asks how you feel, or what you think (which he/she may never do) before you say a word.   That will be very difficult and require considerable patience on your part.    If you are not asked, say nothing more.   However, if he/she asks, tell him/her how you feel or think.    But never put down the other person’s feelings, or say they should not feel that way—or that that you think how they feel is silly or wrong.   Remember, you are to validate the other person’s feelings.

 

Chances are the other person already knows how you feel. Covey says it this way, “Seek first to understand before seeking to be understood.”     The Bible says, Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19, 20)

 

Often, the context—how the person delivers the message—is the real message.  Like shouting; yelling; crying; visible anger; huge motions with hands; stomping of feet; throwing things; and arms crossed and pouting.   The way to soften those angry feelings is to validate his/her feelings by making his or her case better than he or she has made it.  

 

Once the other person knows that they have been heard and their feelings validated, chances are you will have at least defused the anger.   The other person may not want to hear how you feel or think, but that’s OK.     Soon after they calm down, they probably will be ready to listen to you.

 

Accepting how he or she feels, validating feelings, does not mean you agree with him or her.   You are simply validating how he or she feels about something.

 

People want to know that you care before they care what you know.

  • They want their feelings confirmed, not judged.
  • They want understanding, not a diagnosis and prescription.
  • Confirming that you understand and accept their feelings does not mean you agree with them.  
  • Once again, you can accept and validate how they feel without agreeing with them.

  Here are some examples of effective responses:

  • Let me see if I understand you correctly, what I hear you saying is ……. , or
  • I hear you saying……...” or
  • It appears you are saying……….” or
  • It sounds like you are saying………..” or
  • Are you saying…………….?”

  Practice and role play is important.   It will require that you listen very carefully and with emphasis on hearing the other person rather than thinking about how you plan to respond and make your point or the advice you plan to give.   Once again, others want to know that you care before they care what you know.

 

Remember, an effective listener:

  • Makes the other person’s point for them (better than they have made it themselves) BEFORE responding rebuttal or giving advice.  
  • In fact, sometimes, in very emotional situations, after you make the other’s point or argument for them, it is wise to just STOP there and wait until the other person actually asks for what you think.  
  • Patience here is a mature sign of caring and unselfishness.  
  • Once you have neutralized the others anger by showing how well you do understand how they feel, then, and only then, will they be open to hearing form you.

 

Listening's number one problem is thinking about what your response is going to be while the other person is still talking, especially with a “Yea but……

  • Never, never, never, say, “Yea but ……………”   That will provoke more anger, guaranteed.   Being right is not the goal, the goal is effective communications.  

 

Role play.    Practice.    Role play.    Rehearse.   This type of listening requires considerable practice.   You can do it if you try.   Start now!

 

Ken Willig

 

 

Listening skills are the key to all relationships.   How well persons navigate the turbulent waves of communicating successfully and amicably, especially listening for the other’s feelings is critical to having long term good relationships.

 

It requires that you be attentive to what is said and listen carefully to hear other person’s feelings.   Then to respond by validating his/her feelings and making his or her case better than he or she has made it.   That way, he/she will know without a doubt that you have really heard him/her.  

 

Listen for feelings.   Validate feelings.   A person wants to know that you understand his or her feelings before they will listen to anything you have to say.  

 

Keep in mind that validating ones feelings does not mean you agree with him or her.  

 

In order to show the other person that you do understand his or her feelings, say something like, “ Let me see if I understand you correctly, what I hear you saying is …… (repeating what you heard him or her has said) “Then wait—give no rebuttal—no advice—no correction—be patient.    It’s nearly impossible to do, but do it anyway.  

 

Wait until he/she asks how you feel, or what you think (which he/she may never do) before you say a word.   That will be very difficult and require considerable patience on your part.    If you are not asked, say nothing more.   However, if he/she asks, tell him/her how you feel or think.    But never put down the other person’s feelings, or say they should not feel that way—or that that you think how they feel is silly or wrong.   Remember, you are to validate the other person’s feelings.

 

Chances are the other person already knows how you feel. Covey says it this way, “Seek first to understand before seeking to be understood.”     The Bible says, Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19, 20)

 

Often, the context—how the person delivers the message—is the real message.  Like shouting; yelling; crying; visible anger; huge motions with hands; stomping of feet; throwing things; and arms crossed and pouting.   The way to soften those angry feelings is to validate his/her feelings by making his or her case better than he or she has made it.  

 

Once the other person knows that they have been heard and their feelings validated, chances are you will have at least defused the anger.   The other person may not want to hear how you feel or think, but that’s OK.     Soon after they calm down, they probably will be ready to listen to you.

 

Accepting how he or she feels, validating feelings, does not mean you agree with him or her.   You are simply validating how he or she feels about something.

 

People want to know that you care before they care what you know.

  • They want their feelings confirmed, not judged.
  • They want understanding, not a diagnosis and prescription.
  • Confirming that you understand and accept their feelings does not mean you agree with them.  
  • Once again, you can accept and validate how they feel without agreeing with them.

  Here are some examples of effective responses:

  • Let me see if I understand you correctly, what I hear you saying is ……. , or
  • I hear you saying……...” or
  • It appears you are saying……….” or
  • It sounds like you are saying………..” or
  • Are you saying…………….?”

  Practice and role play is important.   It will require that you listen very carefully and with emphasis on hearing the other person rather than thinking about how you plan to respond and make your point or the advice you plan to give.   Once again, others want to know that you care before they care what you know.

 

Remember, an effective listener:

  • Makes the other person’s point for them (better than they have made it themselves) BEFORE responding rebuttal or giving advice.  
  • In fact, sometimes, in very emotional situations, after you make the other’s point or argument for them, it is wise to just STOP there and wait until the other person actually asks for what you think.  
  • Patience here is a mature sign of caring and unselfishness.  
  • Once you have neutralized the others anger by showing how well you do understand how they feel, then, and only then, will they be open to hearing form you.

 

Listening's number one problem is thinking about what your response is going to be while the other person is still talking, especially with a “Yea but……

  • Never, never, never, say, “Yea but ……………”   That will provoke more anger, guaranteed.   Being right is not the goal, the goal is effective communications.  

 

Role play.    Practice.    Role play.    Rehearse.   This type of listening requires considerable practice.   You can do it if you try.   Start now!

 

Ken Willig

 


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