Do This to Create a Closer, More Connected Relationship…

Have you ever found yourself talking with someone but you aren’t listening because you are thinking about what you want to say? Or you might find yourself being triggered by what the other person is saying.

These are things that most of us do from time to time—and they are deadly to our relationships and they are habits that we can break.

They are deadly because once again, you are showing that the other person’s thoughts and ideas aren’t worth listening to. Even if that’s not our intention, that’s what’s conveyed when we become defensive and when we are only interested in what we’re going to say.

Listen to understand the other person

Listening to understand means focusing on the other person and listening to what he or she is saying, not on what you are going to say next.

It means opening your heart to understand the other person’s experience even if you might not agree with it.

We’ve found that listening to understand and to connect creates safety and trust in any relationship.

We all want to feel important and nothing says that better than being listened to and understood. It is your responsibility to help people to listen to you and for you to listen to them.

If there are distractions that are hindering someone either from listening to you or you listening to them, take the time to say that you’d like to find a quiet spot to talk.

Set up the situation so that you both can be successful.  Ask for the person’s help.

You don’t have any control over how the other person reacts or listens, but it is your responsibility to help people understand you.

If you can’t listen fully at that moment, then tell the other person when you can.

Whether it’s listening to a co-worker in a meeting, listening to your partner talk about his/her day, listening to your teenager or 6 year old, the “rules” are the same.

If you want to create a connection between the two of you, learn to listen to understand and with an open heart. You don’t even have to talk to start feeling closer and to solve relationship problems.

In all of those instances, we’ve found that minimizing distractions when others are talking and taking the time to listen, without offering negative comments or trying to “fix” it for them, goes a long way to creating the kind of relationships that we all long for.


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