How Active Listening Can Help Improve a Relationship
Active listening is a skill that one possesses and has developed a specific communication that allows one to fully hear what another person is trying to say. Since listening and communication are essential elements which can help improve relationships, in order for a couple to be successful in their relationship, they must communicate and listen in a meaningful way.
Allow time for the other person to speak
Providing space for the other person to speak will mean that there is willingness in you to refrain from either arguing your case while the other person is stating his/her position or to resist the urge to interrupt and cut off the other person speaking, in doing so, you are giving yourself the opportunity to listen and understand the person’s argument.
By allowing yourself to be in the other person’s shoes, you are actually prioritizing to focus more on the other person’s emotional needs during the dialogue and, doing this, will help you understand better the other person’s perspective, which can help you be an active listener.
Avoid making final judgments
Avoid the negative thought of jumping to conclusions about the other person, especially when you both are in the middle of a dialogue, because this indicates that you have already entertained in your mind a pre-existing belief about the other person, which can block your skill of being an active listener, therefore, focus more on how to resolve your relationship issues in a positive way.
When you have given sufficient time for the other person to speak up, now is your time to inquire on issues that you need to clarify, but see to it that when you inquire it is not accusing the person and when the person answers your queries, listen carefully so you can understand the truth of his/her statements.
By summarizing what you heard from the other person, you are just confirming if you heard everything right, which also confirms your being an active listener, due to the fact that as you communicate back the points he/she has made objectively and, in doing so, you have understood clearly the other person’s point of view. To become an effective communicator, you just have to learn to listen just as much as you need to learn to speak, so that whether you are in a one-on-one conversation or in a group meeting, focusing on what others are saying allows you to put yourself in a more effective position, because when you listen correctly, you also learn more.