What We Teach
Think back to a time when you were in a conversation and you found yourself wondering if the other person was really listening to you or if your message was getting across the way you wanted it to? How did it make you feel? What would you have changed?
On the other hand, picture a person in your life that you love talking to? Is that person someone you feel like really listens and absorbs your words?
Without even realising it you are naturally going to be drawn towards the people in your life who listen to you. Being a better listener makes you a better friend, loved one, peer, employee and stranger in every way. It helps build patience, fosters trust and resilience, makes those involved feel valued, creates more visibility, and minimises space for misunderstanding and miscommunication.
Active Listening is perhaps one of the greatest secrets to true empathy. At its core, its purpose is to encourage the person talking to put their total focus and attention on themselves and how they feel. It can provide someone struggling with tremendous value, as it allows them to navigate their own difficulties. When someone feels listened to and understood, it lifts an emotional burden.
As an Active listener you empower the speaker to greater self-esteem and self-awareness simply through your willingness to listen them. Too often, instead of providing empathy, we tend to give advice or reassurance and explain our own position and feelings.
Active Listening, on the other hand, requires us to concentrate on the other person’s message, giving them time and space to express themselves fully. Even when you can see the best course of action for a person, it’s far more powerful to help them reach their own solutions. Give them uninterrupted space, letting them know you're there for them and willing to provide them the time they need to slow down, process internally and gain clarity.
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