We all want to be listened to and heard in our conversations with others. Being an engaged listener is an incredibly important skill that can help to build understanding and connection in conversations with your partner. But how do we go about doing this? Here are some tips from the Gottman Institute on how to listen effectively:
- Tune in and be curious about what your partner is saying.
- The goal is understanding – reflect back what you heard your partner say to see if you got it right.
- Ask clarifying questions.
- If you get distracted, interrupt your partner, or become defensive, repair this with your partner in the moment.
- Be aware of how much time you spend talking versus listening.
- Spend your time planning what you are going to say next.
- Try to fix things or offer unsolicited advice.
- Finish your partner’s thoughts or try to anticipate what they will say next.
- Multitask – it’s important for your focus to just be on listening during this time.