How to Listen

by Angela Swanson

Ten tips for listening better

Listening is a sacred act. When you really listen to someone, you're fully present, giving the other your full attention. The other person feels seen and heard. You hardly have to say a thing because it's not your words that matter, it's the quality of your presence - or energy. Listening then, is an act of love and can be a catalyst for transforming your relationships. How amazing that by simply being present and listening you can be a positive force of love and change. That's your Life Force Energy at work!  

Listening isn't always easy and most of us need to practice in order to do it well.

Here are 10 tips for better listening: 

1. Stop talking.

One person speaks at a time. Interrupting is an irritating habit.

2. Pause before speaking.

Allow the person who's speaking time to complete their thought, wait a few seconds before responding. Another variation on this is to ask “Is there anything else?” There almost always is.

3. Listen to yourself, your inner voice

Ask yourself, “What wants to be said next?

4. Listen for understanding.

You don't have to agree. Listen to understand the other person.

5. Ask for clarification.

If you do not understand what someone is saying, just ask.

6. Let the speaker know that you have heard them.

Body language: nodding, facial expressions.

7. Be patient and present.

Listening well takes time and your presence.

8. Listen with an open mind.

Be curious and appreciative of what you are listening to. Listen for new ideas instead of judging and evaluating.

9. Pay attention to the environment.

Stop what you are doing to listen. Turn off background noise when possible; move to a quieter corner of the room; clear your desk.

10. Listen with empathy and compassion.

Put your agenda aside for the moment. Put yourself in their shoes.

"Being listened to is so close to being loved, that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable." -David Augsurger

Practice these ten tips and experience the transformative power of listening!

Till next time,

Chief Energy Fairy

SOURCE: Kay Lindahl, The Listening Center