The Lost Art of Active Listening

Our life is made up of a broad series of interactions and relationships. Each one is an opportunity to make a situation better, or leave a bad impression.

Personal relationships are no different. We want those around us to listen when we have a problem or a concern. It is our hope, that person can provide support, direction, and understanding. However, when the roles are reversed or when two people have competing interest, the art of active listening can get lost through our own selfishness to make sure our needs are met. In turn, we make things worse than better, and both parties end up leaving the conversation disappointed.

Active listening can be accomplished by repeating the points the person talking is saying to you. In doing so, it lets the other person know you clearly understand what they are saying. Remember, it is not about you. They are talking so keep your mouth shut and listen. If you need clarity, just ask them to explain. Finally, be respectful. It is easy to come across as not caring. Make sure you look them in the eyes, provide feedback when asked, and actively listen.

After they have expressed their concerns, do not complain, or even express you need more from them because it is a very vulnerable time. It could come across as what they are doing is not good enough. Thus, it could hurt them.

In the end, active listening is a lost art. Take the time to show them you sincerely care by listening and following thru with what they need from you.

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About PhDMedic

I have a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution, with a concentration in International Peace and Conflict, and I am a National Registry Paramedic with 28 years in emergency services. View all posts by PhDMedic

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