Listen to Understand

How often are you listening to react to your colleague, family member or friend? It is so easy to assume we know what they are saying and want to share our point of view.  We begin rehearsing in our head what we will say and often blurt it out before they even finish. 

We’ve all done this and been on the receiving end of someone not really listening. How does it feel? I know that it does not make me feel more connected to the other person.  

Rather than focusing on sharing my perspective or giving a solution, I have found being genuinely curious and giving empathy builds relationships and results. 

When I relax a bit and allow myself to be authentically curious, I  often learn that my assumptions are off and I find new worlds of possibility and connection open up.  

It helps me to wonder, “What is important to the other person or group?” I also reflect on what is important to me in the interaction and our shared interests or common ground.  It helps to give the other and myself empathy. Empathy is naming the emotion the other is experiencing. Doing so does not mean I necessarily agree with their point of view. 

There are so many opportunities to really listen to others in our life. Experiment with genuinely being curious and giving empathy. What do you notice? 

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