We hear all the time that communication is about talking and listening. That makes sense. When I think about being intentional about listening I think about things like: being focused on Ryan, looking directly at him and not letting my brain spin about all my to do’s. Oh, and not interrupting! That has always seemed like a big enough task for me! If I accomplish those things I feel like I am truly listening to Ryan.
This past weekend Ryan and I were at a training we have been doing. They mentioned something about listening that I had not thought about before. The guy speaking made the comment something to the effect of this:
Truly listening is making sure the other person understands that you understand what they said.
Wow. Okay, well I had never thought about it in that way before. So I began thinking how do I make sure Ryan knows that I understand what he is saying. Here are some things that came to mind:
- Repeat what he said in my own words. Then, ask if I understood correctly.
- Ask a question about more details of what he was talking about.
- Say, “Did I catch what you were saying right? You feel/want/need/etc….”
- Make statements like, “I heard you say…”
Making sure the person we are listening to understands that we understand what they have expressed is truly listening. What a new way of thinking about communication and listening.
What is a way you ensure they know you understand what they have shared?
Until Next Time- Truly Love,