How many hours do we spend with our loved ones sharing and solving personal problems? Some problems are easily solved, as for the others are duelled on for ages. In critical and emotional situations such as love or career, people tend to take action in two cases: If they are already 100% convinced by the advice, or if they really trust the person giving the advice. Those life situations are very subjective, therefore, active Listening is one of my favourites techniques to effectively deal with them.
Definition and Steps
Active listening requires an attentive understanding of the speaker and a reflection on the message said. This technique constituted of 6 steps:
- Paying attention:
- The first step in active listening is to be an effective listener. The speaker should not be interrupted and should have the time to speak and think. The listener should pay attention not only to the words said but also to the speaker’s body language.
- Differ From Judgement:
- It is very important that the listener goes into the conversation with an open mind. Any prejudgement would prevent the speaker from opening up.
- To ensure that the speaker is clearly understood, the listener should mirror the speaker’s information by paraphrasing key points.
- The listener can also ask questions to understand the situation on a deeper level.
- As the conversation goes on, it is important to summarise key themes so the listener can confirm and solidify the grasp of the person’s point of view and feelings.
- Active listening is first about understanding the speaker and then sharing the listener’s ideas. Therefore, after the listener gains a clearer understanding of the speaker’s perspective, They can begin introducing their own ideas and suggestions. They might share personal experiences, beliefs, feelings or opinions.
Active listening solidifies our personal relationships and works as an effective problem-solving technique for two main reasons. First, It allows us to understand deeply our loved ones. By clearly grasping their feelings, preferences and point of view, We will be able to communicate effectively and avoid many relationship problems. Secondly, while paraphrasing and summarizing the situation, Our loved ones will have the opportunity to listen to their situation. This process will help them organize their thoughts and make their own decisions. Hence, they will assume more ownership over their lives as they will be choosing what suits them best.