Practice Active Listening to Improve a Relationship
Active listening refers to the process by which a person has that listening skill and is able to develop a form of communication that will allow him/her to reach out to another person by fully hearing what that person is trying to say. For a couple to achieve a long term relationship, it is vital that they communicate and listen in a meaningful way.
Providing space for the other person to speak
By letting the other person speak, this takes effort at your end to refrain yourself from doing these actions: arguing your case while the other person is stating his/her position, resist the urge to interrupt and cut off the other person speaking, and when you control yourself on these, you will be talking less, but you allow yourself to listen well on the other person’s explanation and, therefore, provide both a communication and listening avenue to you and the other person.
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.
Don’t jump to conclusions
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.
Take time to inquire
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.