What is the most essential skill for a successful relationship? There are many however I believe one stands out above the rest.
Whether it be your relationship with self, with your past, with spirit or with others, in this article I will share what I believe to be the most important skill for a healthy, successful relationship. That skill is LISTENING. Listening to your mate. Listening to your spirit for guidance. Listening to others for a more well rounded perspective. Simply listening can lead to greater understanding and therefore a more loving compassionate relationship.
What is true listening?
Without the ability to listen effectively, messages are easily misunderstood. Listening doesn’t necessarily mean being silent. A good listener will periodically ask questions that promote discovery and insight. With good listening, the feedback flows smoothly in both directions with neither party becoming defensive about comments the other made. In contrast, poor listeners are competitive, listening only to identify errors in reasoning or logic, and using silence as a chance to prepare their next response.
Good listeners build a person’s self esteem and makes the other person feel supported. A good listener is like a trampoline. Someone you can bounce ideas off of and rather than just absorbing your ideas and energy, they amplify, energize, and clarify your thinking.
It is important when listening to:
- Avoid Judgement
- Be patient (Don’t interrupt)
- Listen to their tone
- Reflection (Reflect on what the other person said)
- Clarification (Clarify what they said)
- Summarizing (Before you respond, summarize what they said so you are both on the same page).
Obstacles to good listening:
- Drifting off with your thoughts
- Thinking of what to say next
- Thinking you know it all
- Judging what you are hearing
I think it is easy to listen but not really hear. My definition of true listening is when we listen to understand as opposed to being understood. I have found myself thinking of what my response is going to be while the other person is talking. That is not really listening.
I have also found myself thinking things like, he doesn’t understand me, he’s not listening to me, or he doesn’t support me. In those instances, I have learned that I am seeking more to be understood and not really seeking to understand.
Listen with your heart and not just your ears.
Jonah, in the traditional bible, is a good example of someone who did not listen to spirit. Spirit told him to go one way and he went the other. He ended up in the belly of a whale. Listen so your relationships do not end up in the belly of the whale.
Listening shows that you care. I have always believed that everyone is our teacher. We can learn something from everyone but only to the degree that we are willing to simply listen.
There is great power in listening. It is only when we are quiet that we hear the most. It is easy to over-talk someone or as I stated earlier, to be thinking of what you are going to say next while they are talking.
Listen and be present. Then you can take a few minutes to reflect and respond if you need to. Keep in mind that everything doesn’t need a response.
I thank you all so much for listening to my thoughts and I look forward to hearing yours. As always, thanks for the love and support and make sure to enter your email address to receive my free monthly thought provoking articles.