How Active Listening Can Help 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.
Let the other person 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
When you are in the middle of a dialogue with a person, try as much as possible to avoid making final judgments on the other person because this indicates that you already have a pre-existing belief about the person and that blocks you from doing an active listening and, therefore, you just have to avoid this negative thought by clearing your mind of this preconceived belief and instead focus more on positively resolving your relationship issues.
Take time to inquire
After the other person has finished speaking his/her position, conduct proper questioning on some issues that you are not cleared of and do not set a tone of being accusative in order not to give the other person the impression that you are not willing to make it up, but, instead, listen well to the person’s answer so you can digest what is the truth in his/her statements.
Part of making clear with issues that are in the process of being resolved through a dialogue is to paraphrase what the other person says, not to be rude about it but to confirm whether you heard all of the other person’s statements right; doing this makes you to communicate back the points he/she has made objectively and the exchange of conversation that comes with this can help you continue to be an active listener. Learning how to be an active listener is being an effective communicator, such that when you are in a dialogue to resolve a relationship, by focusing on what the other person is saying will actually allow you to put yourself in a good position to understand more the situation, because when you listen correctly, you also learn more.