Listening is probably the most important skill in building relationships, whether they are business or personal relationships. But sometimes people run into trouble in their relationships when they think hearing and listening are the same. In fact, there’s a big difference between hearing someone and listening to them.
You can hear something and not really be listening. I can’t tell you how many times I got into arguments because I was hearing the words but not really listening to the emotions. Sometimes the words don’t even matter. Someone can say to you, “I’m fine,” but the way they say it tells you that they’re not fine. Listening means you also hear what the person isn’t saying.
When you listen that way, you’re showing empathy. Empathy means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and learning their point of view. You ask yourself, “How would I feel if I were in that situation?”
Listening with empathy means you listen without interruption and you listen for what’s not being said—the feelings and fears behind the words. And you don’t need to try to fix the situation; sometimes healing comes just from someone listening!
Would you be the person who will be present and listen with empathy?
Let me help you by asking you some questions:
- How can you show someone through your body language that you are really listening?
- What are some ways you can limit interruptions and distractions when you are trying to listen to someone?
- What is the benefit of asking, “How would I feel if I were in that situation?”
Tell me your answers or share with me your experience by commenting below. I’d love to hear from you.
If you want to get good at listening, I’d suggest taking my self-paced course, “The Power of Listening”. There are 20+ lessons of video teachings with hands-on exercises that you can practice in the real world.