The hardest part of listening better is not taking better notes, nor it it the ability to repeat word for word what was said. The hardest part of listening better is the only part that matters: do it on purpose.
When you do something on purpose, you do it with intention. Your whole self is involved: your mind, your eyes, your heart, your hands, your attitude, your posture, your thought life, your facial expressions. Every.single.part. of. you.
And when you listen on purpose, you discover something amazing: you actually hear what is being said. You have stopped listening so that you can give an answer, or listening “just because.” When you listen on purpose, you get what is being said. And that changes everything.
Try it; you will be amazed. You will tune into the other person’s heart, and you will begin to understand them from the inside out.
Here are some tips for powerful listening:
~To make sure you are intently listening, and to let the other person know that you truly are, it’s very good to simply rephrase what you just heard in your own words. “So if I heard you right, you are saying that…”
~In your mind, play back what you heard using your own situation—this will build empathy very fast!
~If you need to contradict what the other person is saying, never challenge him/her. Rather, challenge the idea they expressed. And wait until they are done speaking!
When you listen on purpose, you will find yourself understanding and truly caring for the person in front of you. And this is what it’ all about, right?