On some level, we all know that to be a good practitioner, partner, business expert, or parent, listening skills are vital.
Unfortunately, during a busy stressful day, the actual skill of listening is too often under-rated.
It can be easily pushed aside among the sundry other duties you must perform during the day.
Recently, I encountered a listening problem with a friend and it brought very close to home the negative consequences of this seemingly simple skill.
In this video and outlined in writing below, I provide you with 3 main tips so you can be a better listener and so you can communicate in a manner to be heard clearly.
Tip 1: Skillful Listening Demands Clear, Kind, and Open Connection
One of the most common reasons people don't hear one another is because they are not really connecting to each other in a healthy and deep manner.
Usually, the lack of connection, is because one of these less aware states of consciousness are taking place:
- Negative defense such as disassociation, collapse, push back, anger, fear...
- Deep judgement of the person speaking
So if you are thinking about any of the following topics while listening to someone, then you are not in positive listening mode. You are thinking:
- What you want them to say
- What you think they are saying
Instead of what they are actually saying, then you are not a skillful listener and you are not really connected to them in an optimum manner.
In the case of my friend, she simply didn't want to hear what I had to say because it would mean she couldn't do what she wanted to do, so she simply, (subconsciously) chose not to hear me.
So just for today, I recommend you take time to actually notice if, when someone connects to you, and speaks with you, are you in any of the 4 negative defenses listed above?
I know my husband likes to "assume" he knows what I am going to say before I say it. After 33 years of marriage, we now laugh when that happens and, because I can read his energy, I know when he is hearing something different from what I actually said. As a result we can then address the issue before it blows up into a conflict. That leads us into Tip 2...
TIP 2: The Speaker Must Take Responsibility for Assessing if He/She is Heard!
As someone wanting to be heard clearly, it is your job to assess if the person you are talking to actually heard you.
None of us are perfect and studies show 98 percent of the time we are in transference, so it is part of your job as the speaker to determine if you are being heard clearly.
Some strategies I use are:
- Is the person is connected to you in a kind way? If not, they may not be hearing you.
- Do you trust that person as someone that can be present and wants to actually hear what you have to say. Chances are, if you are saying something they don't want to hear, you might need to explore if they have heard all of what you have to say or just a part of it.
- Are you emotionally charged, angry or feeling insecure? If so, you might not be heard clearly.
- What is your energetic and/or intuitive hit? Do you feel you have been heard? Developing the ability to track someone's energy field and assess if the words you are saying actually enter their energy field is a very useful tool I use with clients, my husband and children.
In my recent situation with my beloved friend, I trusted her and assumed she really heard me. Well, you know the old saying , "When you assume, it makes an ass out of you and me!" And that is exactly what it did.
Try not to assume!
You can instead simply ask the question, "Can you tell me what you thought I said?"
It is an Imago technique I often use in couples therapy where you repeat back what you feel the other person said. This technique is a great way of fostering clear communication. There are many techniques that promote clear communication. The best method I know is to know when you are in defense or reactivity. Nothing kills healthy communication more deadly than being in a state of reactivity.
I'd love to hear your ways of fostering clear communication. Feel free to share them with me and others in the comment section below.
TIP 3 - 80 Percent of Communication is non-verbal
Some of the studies I have read over the years say that 80 percent of communication is nonverbal. And, as someone that has been teaching horse initiated psychotherapy for many years, it is clear that so much is being said, without actually being said!
When trying to communicate, and when trying to listen, explore what cues are being displayed non-verbally in terms of gestures, facial expressions, and stance. When I was speaking to my friend that didn't hear me, she kept waving me away and looking up and to the side. Studies often determine those cues as being clear non-verbal signals of hiding something. And I didn't pick up on the non-verbal cues she was showing me.
There are many different types of non-verbal communication. Detectives use nonverbal communication to determine if someone is lying or being manipulative. A good therapist will also hone their nonverbal communication skills. They include:
- Body Movements (Kinesics), for example, hand gestures or nodding or shaking the head;
- Posture, or how you stand or sit, whether your arms are crossed, and so on;
- Eye Contact, where the amount of eye contact often determines the level of trust and trustworthiness;
- Para-language, or aspects of the voice apart from speech, such as pitch, tone, and speed of speaking;
- Closeness or Personal Space (Proxemics), which determines the level of intimacy;
- Facial Expressions, including smiling, frowning and even blinking; and
- Physiological Changes, for example, sweating or blinking more when nervous.
A good listener will also explore what they learn from non-verbal communication, including what they pick up at the level of subtle energy!
If not, clear the energy or anger or defense between you before you try to communicate with them. Also, look at their actions, gestures and what you pick-up energetically and intuitively.
If you need support around this, you are invited to attend our next weekend self-mastery academy to take this work deeper. For details, click here!
- Be heard and communicate better
- Balance male/female energies for deep power and alignment
- Get the love you really want and heal negative adult attachment patterns
- Rewire your brain, energy system and body to deep personal, internal power
- Discover 5 Steps so emotional pain and negative patterns transform so you embody great manifesting skills
- Shift your co-dependency challenges that cut you from personal power
- Heal any inner "bitchiness" and bully energy that can hold you back.
- Master better conflict resolution skills