Have you ever talked to someone who made you feel like you were the only person in the world at the time? Who was really engaged and interested in every word that came out of your mouth? How did that make you feel? You feel valued, or important. I think you got my point.
This is the power of listening. In-depth listening is much more than a valuable social habit; It is a transformative communication tool. With in-depth listening, you’re not only allowing yourself the time and space to fully absorb what your conversation partner is saying, but you’re also actually listening to him or her to speak more openly and honestly. And this is an important step towards developing a relationship with someone.
Why listening is Important?
Communication is the most important life skill. When we are awake, we spend most of our time in communication. We learn to speak. We learn to write and read. But no one teaches us to listen.
If you want someone to understand and be influenced by your words will have to listen to you. It is also important for you that to understand someone, listen to him first.
Often parents are taught that they do not even understand their children what want. The same thing remains between husband and wife. As I said above, you cannot understand anyone until you listen to him. Most of the people fill with their own rightness.
When another person speaks, we are usually “listening” at one of four levels. Maybe we’re ignoring the other person, not really listening at all. We can practice pretending. “Yeah. Uh-huh. Alright.” We can practice selective listening, listening only to parts of the conversation. We often do this when we are listening to the incessant chatter of a preschool child. Or we can also practice listening carefully, paying attention, and focusing energy on the words being said. But very few of us ever practice the fifth level, the highest form of listening, empathic listening.
Empathic listening means listening to someone with the intent to understand. Empathic listening falls within the realm of another person’s context. You see through it, you see the world the way they see the world, you understand their paradigm, you understand how they feel.
4 Principles of Deep listening
By maintaining good eye contact, you are showing your conversation partner that you are fully engaged and interested in what he is saying. A good guideline to follow is the 80/20 rule In which 80% of the time your eyes are meeting your speaking partner, and 20% of the time, your eyes are rolling as you gather information to say.
The average person speaks between 135 and 160 words per minute, but the average person’s brain works at between 400 and 600 words per minute. This means your brain is running much faster than your conversational partner’s mouth, which makes it easier for your mind to flow. It’s up to you to stop letting your mind drift away from the conversation and be truly present. Not only will you be able to fully absorb what your partner is saying, but you will be also able to respond in a way that makes them appreciate and understand.
There’s nothing worse than talking to someone who doesn’t give any verbal feedback. It’s like talking to a wall. Try giving your conversation partner the occasional nod, smile, or other sign of recognition. These nonverbal cues may seem insignificant, but they have a tremendous impact by showing your interest, understanding, and participation in the conversation.
When you’re talking face-to-face with someone, position your body in a way that creates a safe and welcoming space for them to speak openly. Lean in a bit, open your chest, your shoulders. pull back, and gently fold your hands on your lap or on the table in front of you. If you’re standing, do a reverse-handed ladder, with the fingers intertwined to make a point. When someone stops in the lap area, so that means they are confident about what they are hearing.
Try adopting these principles of listening in your life. Now you will see that your relationship with everyone has started improving.
Saurabh Goel is the founder of Brain Soul & You. He is an Entrepreneur, Author, Brain Performance coach, NLP Wellness Coach, Life Coach, Brain Analyst, and Trainer for Education, Corporate, Entrepreneurship.