How to Listen Effectively

Understanding Others Through Healthy Communication


People tend to respond to what others say
with their own thoughts. This is a natural part of the ebb and flow of conversation. However, it often means they aren’t listening.

Even though we all “know” how to listen we often do a poor job of it. True listening takes effort and practice. How will you know you aren’t listening?

  1. The other person keeps repeating herself.
  2. You keep repeating yourself.
  3. You’re angry.
  4. You’re thinking what to say next.
  5. You’re arguing.
  6. You’re convinced the other person is a moron.
  7. You’re being defensive.
  8. The other person says you aren’t listening!

To be a good listener take the following steps:

  1. Be curious and ask questions.
  2. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  3. Look for ways to acknowledge how he’s right.
  4. Don’t become defensive.
  5. When you disagree, state your point directly without criticism.
  6. Avoid “facts” which are irrelevant to the discussion.
  7. Remain calm, remember the other person is merely expressing ideas.
  8. Make it a priority for her to feel understood.

This Friday evening class begins at 6:30 p.m. and goes until 11:30 p.m. The life coaching class is led by David Cantu and Carrie Manongdo. In addition to the participants, assistants who have previously taken the course also attend. A typical class includes ten people. Participants should be at least 16 years old; singles, couples and families are welcome. The fee for the class is “pay as you choose.” Please call (512) 653-4316 or email [email protected] to register.

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Learn to Listen Better

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view–until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. ~ Harper Lee “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Good communication
requires connection and understanding. To create that, we must not only speak effectively but also listen well. Poor communication begins by focusing single-mindedly on making our point or on being right; we fail to understand the other person. To listen well I should be actively engaged and curious – I must ask questions. We might not agree with one other, but by seeking common ground I make understanding and accord far more likely. I look for what’s going on beneath the surface; I listen not only to the words and thoughts but also to the emotions. I’m considerate of the needs of others as well as my own. Real communication begins when the person I’m speaking with feels acknowledged and understood. By grasping another’s perspective, I create a connection. As a result, I’m more likely to gain trust and to create a reciprocal response; I’m in a better position to express my own thoughts and feelings. In order to be heard I first must listen.
David Cantu
Life Coach Austin Texas
Learn to Listen Well © 2007

Matthew 13:16
(NIV)
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.