Countless times a day there are Facebook status updates, Twitter feeds, and Foursquare check-ins – claim our attention.
Human connection, the intricate and complex ability that differs us from most mammals, is changing before our eyes. We may be interacting, but are we registering it internally? Many of us wonder whether we are losing our ability to connect altogether.
In this era of rapid fire exchange of information, I invite you to put a momentary cease on your own contributions and simply listen.
Active Listening is a technique used in many professional and interpersonal relationships that allows the listener to more fully engage in conversation and comprehend what is being said.
Here’s a few tips to be an active listener:
– Quiet Your Mind: Try listening without chatter in your mind. Close your laptop and turn off your TV. Make eye contact with the person speaking. Notice body language and manner of speech.
– Pay Attention to Potential: Listen for solutions, strengths and what could become in conversation. Find tools for the person to be successful.
– Clarify and Paraphrase: Repeat what the person said you, and try putting it in your own words. Often, that will lead to a stronger retention of the person’s message.
Ask a co-worker or loved one how they’re feeling today, and listen to what they have to say. They’ll appreciate it, and you might learn something new about them.
Remember, you can’t rewind or fast-forward through the moments you share with others. Be with them every moment.
Being an active listener will improve your relationships.