Listening Skills

Be Mindful

  • It is important to the health of any relationship to be present in mind and body in each conversation.  As a listener, one should be careful to put aside any preconceived notions about the other person and preoccupations in our own lives and discipline ourselves to focus completely on what is being said.  The mindfulness shown is a sign of respect to the speaker; it shows him/her a level of committment to the relationship you share as well as to the speaker.


Adapt Listening Appropriately

  •  How we listen depends on the situation we’re in.  Ask yourself: Am I listening for pleasure? Am I relationship listening?  To whom am I listening?  For what reason am I listening to this person/ these people?  Remember to be mindful and attentive.  You may have to adapt your listening style depending on the attitude and speaking style of the other person. 




Listen Actively

  •  It takes effort to listen.  The listener has to focus, organize and interpret the words and underlying thoughts and feelings being said, express an interest in what’s being told to them, and the hardest part: remember what was said.  If a friend is chattering at you about something you don’t really care about, actively listening becomes a skill that requires hours of patience to perfect.  Because when they ask you,”What do you think?”, you better hope they don’t catch you staring blankly off into space. 

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