So, this week’s posts are all about communication. I’ve been attending meetings this week with a keen ear on communication styles. It is really interesting when you are intentionally listening for how people communicate with one another rather than focusing on responding per se. I mean I’m not advocating not listening, but while listening to the content listen for how people communicate. So what I’ve discovered over my highly scientific study of the past two days worth of meetings and phone conversations is something way profound: Everyone wants to be heard!
Wow! You say…what a profound discovery! So, how do we allow for the other person to feel as if he/she has truly been heard when we really need to communicate some set of ideas or processes beyond their own desires? In counseling there is a method called reflective listening. That is what I am advocating today. Google it. Get some good reflective listening skills, sit quietly with whomever it is that you are working with while he/she talks and simply reflect back to him/her what he/she has said. This validates them and makes them feel as if they’ve been heard. Once you do this you can smoothly shift to the purpose of your visit which is, often as evaluators, to get them to change some process or belief. I’ve found that if people feel as if they’ve truly been heard they are much more willing to approach change, even if it is drastic change, and often times willing to do what it takes to move in the new direction.
The idea for today is learn how to listen so that the speaker feels heard and validated, it is within these relationships where both persons feel heard and validated that true growth and change can often occur. Listen differently today!