I promised to write a short series on active listening this week so here goes.
The first skill is Be Attentive:
Start out with positive thoughts about the other. In the case of my marriage to Beth, when I’m in active listening mode, I focus on my love for her, that she is my partner, friend and lover and that she has important information for me. These thoughts allow me to convey a positive attitude toward her and helps her to see my willingness to work through any situation.
I listen for content, looking at her, and working to summarize her information in order to reflect it back at an opportune time. The goal is to let the speaker know that I’ve been listening, with a positive attitude. I avoid any attempt in my mind to problem solve at this step. This is just positive information gathering, and the setting of a pleasant problem-solving atmosphere.
Positive attitude is critical in this skill and it requires personal choice.
For you today: Practice thinking positive thoughts about your partner. Reflect on the positive aspects of the relationship and observe how this assists you in being more attentive in conversation.
I would be honored to receive any feedback you may have for this article.