Tag Archives: Listening

How To Listen Up! – Dr Sandy Nelson

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HOW TO LISTEN UP!

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey tells of a father who came to him saying, “I can’t understand my kid. He just won’t listen to me.” Covey patiently tried to get the dad to see the inconsistency of his statement. You don’t understand people by getting them to listen to you. You understand them when you listen to them.charlie brown listen

Is anyone listening?

It’s true that our high-tech, fast paced society today allots less time to listen to one another. Everyone is in a hurry, no one has time, but the need for communication and connection is more important than ever. Relationships at work and at home cannot thrive or survive without listening to one another. It’s imperative that we need to listen up!

Ever jump to understand a person’s disagreeing view? That’s not the first move of most people in conversation. People usually jump to judge, to argue, or to reject, to debate, but to understand? That’s in a minority of people.

listen1But we can change that. When we listen to another person, we can refuse to be distracted by our own opinions and biases. We can accept that listening to a differing view is not going to cause the veins in our foreheads to explode. It’s only fair that If we want our point to be understood, we need to practice understanding the point of others. We need to listen up!

listen

Listen to what people say, not to what we want to hear. Listen to their choice of words, not what we want them to say. Listen to their values, their complaints, their priorities, their outlook, and how they speak about other people, because that will reveal who that person is. So pay attention, put down any distractions, look at the person speaking, and listen up.

To avoid the impulse to finish the sentences of a person who speaks slower than we do is often a tussle. This is a test of our patience. And another impulse to avoid is planning what to say next when we should be listening. Also don’t interrupt the person talking, or take calls, or look at our phone (or TV), or wave to someone we know, or stare at the floor or out the window, all of which convey that the person talking is a bother to us, and not important.

Look at the person talking, without distraction. Practice listening with the intent to understand. This earns the respect of others.

Think about it.FullSizeRender (8)

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

The Key to Conversation – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This principle is the key to effective interpersonal communication. –Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey tells a story of a father who came to him saying, “I can’t images (4)understand my kid. He just won’t listen to me.” Covey patiently tried to get the dad to see the inconsistency of his statement. You don’t understand people by getting them to listen to you. You understand them when you listen to them.

Ever jump to understand a person’s view that disagrees with yours?  The attempt to understand, or even listen, is not the first move of most people in conversation. People tend to jump to judge, to argue, to reject, to debate, but to understand? That’s in a minority of people.

images (66)But we can change that. and we need to. We can accept that listening to a differing view than ours is not going to cause the veins in our foreheads to explode. We can cool our jets of wanting to prove they’re wrong, and listen to others without creating a win-lose competition in conversation.

Listen up! If we want our point to be understood, it’s necessary to practice understanding the point of others. The basis of understanding and connecting with someone requires a lack of Drill-Sargent attitude and defensiveness. Sometimes we’re more interested in proving someone wrong than understanding a person’s opinions and beliefs. Instead of saying, “That’s not right,” it’s better to seek to understand and ask “Why do you think that?” This is the epitome of communicating with respect and unbiased mindfulness. Our relationships need this.

All advances to date in interests of humanity, medicine, and technology images (67)required open minds that sought to understand—that entertained differing views. But for some unfortunate people, most of their so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments to continue on believing as they already do. Their mind is closed. They have already judged their own opinion as being the only true and rational view and cling stubbornly to a mixture of unwarranted assumptions. This is fertile ground for intolerance to flourish.

Practice listening with the intention to understand, even if you disagree.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com