How Active Listening Can Help Improve a Relationship
Active listening refers to the process by which a person has that listening skill and is able to develop a form of communication that will allow him/her to reach out to another person by fully hearing what that person is trying to say. Listening and communication should be hand-in-hand and when two individuals communicate and listen in a meaningful way results to a long term relationship success.
Providing space for the other person to speak
When you allow time for the other person to speak, this is already indicating that you will also take effort to refrain yourself from arguing your case while the other person is stating his/her position or to resist the urge to interrupt and cut off the other person speaking, and, therefore, when you do these, you will have more chances of listening well to the person speaking and understanding what he/she is driving at.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
By allowing yourself to be in the other person’s shoes, you are actually prioritizing to focus more on the other person’s emotional needs during the dialogue and, doing this, will help you understand better the other person’s perspective, which can help you be an active listener.
When you are in the middle of a dialogue with a person, try as much as possible to avoid making final judgments on the other person because this indicates that you already have a pre-existing belief about the person and that blocks you from doing an active listening and, therefore, you just have to avoid this negative thought by clearing your mind of this preconceived belief and instead focus more on positively resolving your relationship issues.
When you have given sufficient time for the other person to speak up, now is your time to inquire on issues that you need to clarify, but see to it that when you inquire it is not accusing the person and when the person answers your queries, listen carefully so you can understand the truth of his/her statements.
Rephrase what the other person says
By summarizing what you heard from the other person, you are just confirming if you heard everything right, which also confirms your being an active listener, due to the fact that as you communicate back the points he/she has made objectively and, in doing so, you have understood clearly the other person’s point of view. To become an effective communicator, you just have to learn to listen just as much as you need to learn to speak, so that whether you are in a one-on-one conversation or in a group meeting, focusing on what others are saying allows you to put yourself in a more effective position, because when you listen correctly, you also learn more.