Do you ever find yourself frustrated with people and or situations because you feel the other party simply are not listening. I certainly do! I have found myself at one time or another feeling breathless and frustrated where I tried over zealously to get my point across by changing tone, changing facial expression and if all else fails – losing my temper. Today I read something that really put my way of handling situations into perspective. In his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly effective people’ Stephen R. Covey introduces the idea of empathetic listening. The idea is to seek to understand before being understood. This is not simply reflective listening where you repeat everything that has been said to you – this takes very little brain energy and we do not really take in and process the data. Empathetic listening goes beyond the words and seeks to understand the emotion behind what is being said. It is about moving away from trying to superimpose our own life stories on others and taking the time to understand the other person’s unique situation. When somebody knows that you are truly listening and understand it builds that trust and bond for them to want to take your advice.
One of the worst feeling like nobody is listening. Don’t be the cause of making anyone feel like that.