Photo by the one and only Adrienne Hapanowicz.
I’ve been listening to WNYC’s podcast Only Human recently. (It’s great. You should check it out!) This past week, they did five podcasts about how to listen better and why we should. It was eye-opening for me. I come from a family where interrupting and talking over each other is the norm. It comes down to everyone just wanting to be heard. I’m sure you want to feel heard, so in order to do that we all must truly listen to each other. Here are a few takeaways from this week’s Listen Up series that I think we could all benefit from, especially around the holiday season. These are important for us to connect with our family and friends. I'm definitely going to make a more concentrated effort to really listen.
1. Before meeting up with someone to have a talk or to hang out, take three minutes of silence. Don’t think about your to-do list or what you are doing later. Just clear your mind and get yourself in the mindset to be present with that person.
2. When having a conversation with someone, don’t immediately interrupt or answer. Let them talk and get it all out before you share your response.
3. Be aware of how often you say “no” or “yes, but” when talking. You can turn it around and say “yes, and.” This doesn’t work in all conversations but it can help make the other person’s idea feel heard. Try it. This one was a pretty big revelation for how I handle conversations.
4. Try to have as many conversations as you can in person. Tone can get misconstrued over text. It’s easier to read someone when you can see their body language.