Being an effective communicator requires both listening and speaking abilities by looking through a lens of empathy and understanding. We never know what personality type we are dealing with, and the best course of action is to listen more and say less. Sometimes listening more and saying fewer words mean you learn more about a person instead of running interference (obstruction to revealing hidden feelings and intentions). By actively paying attention to what a person is saying, he or she feels more comfortable to be open and share thoughts and ideas. Also, by avoiding frequent interruptions and inserting our opinions will establish a safe place of trust and respect through positive, communicative interactions.
Communication does require an ongoing dialogue between two or more people. By listening, does not mean being an inactive participant to the conversation. On the contrary, it means we are paying attention to what he or she is saying, and not forming a dialogue in our head of how we are going to respond. By being an active listener, we add more to a conversation by understanding and empathizing. The art of active listening and wisdom of mindfulness requires practice to pay attention to what is being said instead of the importance of what we are going to say to the person speaking.
Just for Today
I will practice the art of active listening. I will be mindful of what the person is saying. If the conversation is based upon a person’s need to vent a problem, I will show more understanding and empathy by paying attention to what he or she is saying. I will do my best to not interrupt and obstruct the flow of the conversation. Also, I could offer up suggestions if the person is willing and open to listening to my thoughts and ideas. After the person has finished speaking, I will communicate in a way that the individual understands and ask for clarification if need be. Also, by listening and responding, I will intuitively know who or who not is a safe person to continue building trust and deepening the relationships through effective communication as both a listener and speaker.