How Deep Listening Strengthens Relationships
Did you ever think about what the world would be like if you had no caring friends, no partner or any family to connect with? And all you have are strangers whom you cannot even open up to? Well, if you think about it carefully, you'll come to realize just how valuable those loved ones are. Many are the time you snub your relationship with others just by not being present. To strengthen any relationship be it, friendship, relative or romantic relationship you must create time for it and practice good interpersonal skills to help each other out.
To strengthen your relationship effective communication is required. It helps you to able to understand each other, be supportive each other as well encourage each other. However, no effective communication can happen without listening to your partner. Not just actively, but deeply. Here is how you can improve your listening skills to strengthen your relationship:
Concentration is a key to active listening, so whether you’re listening to a friend or partner, avoid any form of distraction such as checking messages from your mobile phone, noise from the surrounding and only focus on what is being said. You can do this by identifying a quiet place and switching off your mobile phone to minimize the distraction.
Let the speaker know that you're not only being present physically but also mentally and emotionally. Relating in this way offers the greatest level of support.
Maintain eye contact
Maintaining eye contact with the speaker shows that you are interested in whatever he/she is saying and hence a smooth communication. However, be mindful to keep your gaze comfortable for the other person. Nothing is more awkward than staring.
Only respond when needed but don't interrupt the speaker’s flow. You can do this by the show of body language, facial expression or even ask a question for clarification but only when the speaker pauses or it's your turn to speak. Make mental notes to refer to later as you discuss.
Pay attention to body language
Body language communicates a lot about you. Cracking your nails, yawning, and looking down shows how bored you are and this can be very frustrating to the speaker. If the speaker realizes that you're not attentive, he/she might not let out everything they had to say, and this will lead to communication breakdown and poor relationship.
Be aware of your thoughts
Deep listening also means listening to yourself. Very often we are preparing the answer to the speakers comment, or running away with a thought train that creates obstacles to truly understanding the meaning behind what the speaker is saying.
After listening, it's always good to ask questions to understand more. Asking questions motivates the speaker, and they know that you're interested. Again, if you opt to offer some help or encouragement, you will need to get their message very clear.
The above listening skills tips will help you improve not only your personal relationship but also work or any other relationship. Through understanding each other most conflicts can be resolved, and bonds strengthened. So, don't let your connection be broken, being present makes all the difference.