Are you misunderstood or sometimes you misunderstand what your partner, spouse or colleague say to you? Do you sometimes find yourself questioning your responses in a conversation? Most people hear others speaking to them, but most of the time our interactions are not focused and we may listen to people speak, without truly hearing what they want to say to us.
Learning how to listen is a skill that helps us to clear our mind of thoughts and behaviors that may interrupt our ability to hear what the other person is trying to say, rather than what we think they are saying.
Knowing how to communicate effectively in relationship is a master key to a peaceful and healthy relationship. The major aspect of conversation is listening. The beauty of listening is the ability we have to control what we hear and to discover ourselves the more in the process as we engage more in listening than talking.
Instead of responding to people’s comments and thoughts as a reaction, we take the time to understand what they are saying and in thinking about how their words are impacting us, we are identifying the natural way to control and react to people’s words and think about how best to respond to them. We can learn, develop and practice self-control techniques, which can help us to act more appropriately to anything people may say to us.
When somebody lashes out at you in a communication or conversation, the most likely instinct is to lash back and defend yourself with equal anger, may be even worse. “What you have done then is to hand the keys of the conversation to the person most likely to run it into a ditch,” explains Geoffrey Tumlin, a communication consultant and author of “Stop Talking, Start Communicating.”
In most conversations, basic human instinct is to mimic or match the other person’s communication style and tenor, he says. “So what happens when someone comes at us at an agitation level of 8, 9, or 10–in the danger zone? These forces encourage us to match with our own 8, 9, or 10. We could inflict serious, sometimes fatal, damage to the underlying relationship.”
Don’t give in to the natural urge to match the other person’s aggression with defensiveness or anger of your own, he advises.
Now let us learn more from these quotes below.
Quotes on Effective Communication
“Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.”
“The art of effective listening is essential to clear communication, and clear communication is necessary to management success.”
James Cash Penney
“Communication is about being effective, not always about being proper.”
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
George Bernard Shaw
“Whenever I think I’m going to get certain information out of a person, it’s never as effective or comfortable as just having an open conversation, listening to them, being present, and being open to hearing something I didn’t even know they were going to say.”
“Effective listening is something that can absolutely be learned and mastered. Even if you find attentive listening difficult and, in certain situations, boring or unpleasant, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. You just have to know what to work on.”
‘Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”
Dr. Stephen R. Covey
Communicating effectively using Reflective Listening
Practice Reflective listening. It involves listening to others around us talk to us and taking time out to ensure we understand their words and the meanings behind those words.
We ask questions like “so you mean this.” to reflect back to the person what we think they said. We use words like “I feel angry when you say that” rather than lashing out in anger and using a “you” phrase like “you always do this.”
Our focus is not on the words spoken but on the person speaking and what they meant by their words. This way of listening can take some getting used to, but once we learn this skill will change the way we relate to people and interact with them, and learn more about ourselves in the process.
If you sometimes feel misunderstood when you are talking to people, you probably have an understanding of the importance of really being heard and not just listened to. As we begin to practice reflective listening, you will soon learn the phrases and body languages that you personally find difficult to deal with before.
You will develop important techniques and qualities that enable you to remain in control of your thoughts and emotions when having discussions with others.
According to Wikipedia, Dr. Dalmar Fisher, an associate professor at Boston College, who developed the model of Reflective Listening, said that communication involves focusing on the conversation, mirroring the mood of your partner, summarizing what the speaker or your partner said using the speaker’s own word and embracing thoughtful silence rather than engaging in idle chatter or verbal conflict.
The most problems we have in communication in all our relationships can be resolved if we focus on the Habit 5 of Dr. Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of highly effective people”; the Habit 5 says: SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD.
When we observe this simple rule there will be huge improvement in our relationship with our partners, friends, spouse, clients, siblings etc.
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