Tuesday, July 22, 2008

10 quick tips to improve your listening skills

Relationships take a LOT of work. Good ones just don't happen and most of us aren't born with this natural skill or ability to relate well - we've got to LEARN how to.

Besides boundaries, listening is another important skill to learn. Listening can either strengthen or destroy a marriage. Need help? Go here.

Here's my Ten Quick Tips to Improve Your Listening Skills:

1. Look directly at the person who is speaking. Engage your mind in their words. Giving direct attention shows you care.

2. Identity what they are saying. Is it an opinion, an experience, a request, a desire, a concern, or are they asking a question.

3. Don’t interrupt. Speak only in turn. It’s rude to tramp on some ones thoughts and heart that is being spoken.

4. Think of what they are saying, not what you want to say. Mentally summarize their message.

5. When you sense emotion in you rising up ~ get control, keep it under control. Don’t get swept away in emotion. We get emotional when we are thinking their words are a personal attack. Just listen ~ it’s their words and their heart that is being expressed. Be thinking about what God is after in this situation.

6. Don’t change the subject. Give the person the Gift of Being Heard Out Completely. Don’t be in a rush. Being in the posture of listening is the posture of learning.

7. Certain words mean certain things to certain people.

8. Don’t judge what they are saying in terms of your experience ~ remember this is their story.

9. Listen to understand.

10. If you don’t under the meaning of a word, then ask.

If these aren't enough and you want more LISTENING help then go here. Or go here for whatever works.

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6 comments:

Mrs. Querido said...

Don't judge in terms of your own experience...that's one that I really need to work on. I tend to assume I know the meaning behind what he's saying and then I get myself into trouble! I assume that his intentions aren't with my best interests in mind (especially when he critiques me...lol). Thanks for the reminder.

Heart of Wisdom said...

Thanks for this post. I am coping it to share with my kids.

robin@heartofwisdom.com
http://www.heartofwisdom.com/heartathome/

angela said...

HI, I'm tagging you!

see here:

http://toliveischrist.wordpress.com/2008/07/23/tagged/

angela :-)

Wani said...

What great tips... I think we all could use a little help in the listening area! Thanks.

Lylah said...

Thanks! Mrs. Q and Robin ~ yeah, the "assuming what I know the meaning of the word" totally can get us in trouble. it's like that little concept of getting understanding of word usage can prevent unnecessary conflicts which start crazy "wars"....
ahh....marriage and the character we GET to have!

Beth Ann said...

Humm...I complain when my hubby doesn't listen when I talk, yet I find myself doing other things while he is trying to talk to me. Like being on the computer. Not good.
Mental note: Look him in the eyes and smile. Comment after he has spoken. Hug him more.
Thanks Lylah!