As a health coach one of the first skills you learn is active listening. Active listening, in short, is the act of listening, confirming what has been communicated, and retaining that information. It takes intention.
- Listen without interrupting. Your focus should be on the speaker. You are not multitasking or thinking of a response and you are making eye contact.
- Confirm that you understand. You can summarize or repeat what the speaker has said. If they correct or add anything to your statement, re-summarize their point to confirm that you understand.
- By doing the above steps, you will find that you can retain information better.
Work The Skill:
The next time you have a disagreement or important discussion with your husband, give him your full attention. Sit without moving, make eye contact with him and listen. When he is finished speaking, take a deep breath and repeat his main points. Do not give your opinion on his main points, just confirm that you understand them. Once he confirms that you understand what he said, take a second to gather your thoughts, *then you can continue the conversation by expressing yourself.
*TIP: Before you go on to express your perspective or feelings, reason or sympathize with at least one thing he said. I guarantee you that it will make it easier for him to listen to you because he will feel that he has been heard.
Active listening is such an easy communication skill, but it does take practice if you are not accustomed to doing it. Fortunately, it is worth the effort! So give it a try, and share how it helped you in the comments below.