Communication 101……Stop and Listen

How many times in your past can you recall getting upset with someone, which turned into an argument and you were left with nothing resolved? It is natural to want to express your thoughts and concerns when you feel wronged. However, it is less natural to genuinely listen to the other person’s point of view. Practicing healthy communication and listening skills is vital in all relationships. It takes practice to stop and listen when all you want is to get your point across. Everyone wants to be heard, genuinely heard, when expressing feelings. When you approach someone from the “I” standpoint instead of the “you” standpoint, it changes the dynamic completely. Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings and this will lessen the likelihood of defenses going up. Start today by creating relationships built on respect for one another. Again, it is ok and completely valid to be upset with someone, the way you approach the situation can make a huge difference in the outcome.

  1. Make a list

Make a list of all the people you would like to improve your relationships with. Take ownership and responsibility for what you bring to the relationship. Instead of the “blame game,” try approaching the situation with an open mind, resulting in a solution. Practice responding instead of reacting.

  1. Stop and listen

Next time you get upset with someone, be prepared to stop and really listen to what they have to say. Before jumping the gun and overreacting, take a deep breath and prepare how you want to approach the situation. Envision the end result in a positive manner with both parties being able to express everything without blame. Begin to practice the art of really listening. Take time to stop and really hear what the other person has to say.

  1. Remember how it feels

Remember how it feels when you’ve been genuinely heard and understood? It is difficult to get upset when you feel understood, when there is little blame and more understanding of each other’s point of view.

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