Do you love to talk as much as I do and struggle sometimes to listen to people who are talking to you?
Do you find yourself thinking of something to say, and then immediately wishing the other person would stop talking so that you can get in what you have to say?
If you’re interested in maximizing your active listening skills, I imagine these tips I’ll give you here will be really quick.
Now, while you might see me here, talking all the time, actually, in my personal life, I consistently get compliments on what a great listener I am. Because of the nature of doing videos on YouTube and podcasts and blog posts, I need to talk a lot here.
Maybe you’d watch if I could do some ASMR or something, though and not talk? Let me know in the comments, if you want to see some of that.
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How do we turn ourselves —especially when we have the propensity to talk a lot— how do we become an active listener?
Number one is to think of why, why do we really want to listen? I think back to the St. Francis prayer for this because it helps me to feel better, to seek to understand rather than be understood.
Listening helps us a ton with communication.
Often when you see two people fighting, it’s so obvious, neither is listening, both are talking, both are saying things over and over. But neither person is listening.
Listening is like a miracle for any relationship you have.
When you actually listen carefully to the other person, then when you speak, you’re likely to say something that makes a big difference.
There’s also the listening effect where people will think you’re great at conversation, just because you listened to them.
I’ve gotten lots of compliments in that respect like —Oh, I love talking with you, when from my point of view, almost all I do is to listen.
Most of us really just want to be heard and understood and listening gives us the ability to help other people get what they want and when we help other people get what they want, we invariably get what we want back.
Let’s look then at some tips you can use.
The key thing though, is to understand why when you know that active listening is extremely powerful, then you’ll be willing to actually apply these tips.
Number one for active listening,
I look people directly in the eye. I try and literally interface with their soul, they say those eyes are the windows into the soul, I try and go Soul to Soul, because that helps me listen and fully embrace the reality of what somebody is saying.
Number two, when I’m looking at someone, I also will check their mouth from time to time.
if I’m looking for clarification or some of the words I’m having a hard time understanding, especially if you’re speaking a second language. This really helpful is look at the person’s mouth while they’re talking to help understand each and every word that said.
Number three, is when you hear a thought coming up in your own head to quickly let it go.
Sometimes that can be challenging, especially when someone’s says anything that triggers you, were you have to put an opinion out there or you have to say something back.
I understand when you get excited and you just wanting to talk, well remember, if you really listen good, you might be able to listen all the way through someone and whatever opinion is just coming out for the moment, you actually are more likely to reinforce it by saying something immediately against it.
This is really helpful with children, for listening and what I often do to assist my listening with this is the fourth point.
The first thing I often say, to out of my mouth, especially to children or anyone I think really wants confirmation I’m understanding them is I will say back the basics and a little bit different words of what was said to me so that they know what they intended to say was communicated.
For example, with my daughter, I’ve done this since she first started talking and now she talks really good at four years old. Part of it appears to be that I’ve reinforced her constantly to confirm what she thought she said, was understood by me or sometimes to confirm what she thought she said was not understood by me and to hear back whatever it is she said.
For example, if she says “Daddy are hungry”, I might not now that she’s four years old, repeat back, “Daddy, you’re hungry”, I might say directly something like “well, I hear that you’re hungry, what would you like to eat?”
This helps that she knows what she said is communicated successfully and then that I’m working on answering it.
Whereas if I just immediately skip into something like, “well, we don’t have anything to eat”, then she may not understand that what she said was successfully received from her point of view, it may just appear like -Hey, you didn’t understand what I said.
Let me say it again. —Daddy, I’m hungry
—We don’t have anything eat
—But I’m hungry
—Well, we don’t have anything eat.
— Well I’m hungry.
You see the power, it has to just say back with the other person said to verify it was received and this goes with any person that it seems like they really need that reinforcement. Therefore, for active listening, this helps combined with the previous tip, instead of thinking about what you’re going to say, make sure you’ve clearly understood what the other person is said, then you’ve got an opportunity to share something helpful back.
If you’re struggling, let’s go into tip number five.
Based on if you’re struggling with real, wanting to say something, here’s a thought that will help. Just be quiet for a minute. Just be quiet for a minute and see what happens.
Be quiet for a minute to make sure the other person doesn’t have anything to say. This way you verify there’s an opportunity for you to speak, what I find is pointless is to try to talk at someone who wants to keep talking.
If I try and immediately jump in when somebody saying something and for the caf of a quarter of a second, they stop talking, I immediately jump in with what I want to say. Often the person is not in listening mode, they really want to keep talking, thus what I will do is I will often just be quiet.
I’ll wait and let that awkward pause come up, then I know it’s time for me to start talking. This works really well with most people. However, sometimes this gets a little ridiculous. When you’re talking with someone else. That’s also a good listener.
There’s this guy, see at AA meetings and man him and I will just end up staring at each other because I’ll pause and he’ll pause, nobody will say something, then I really want to start talking and both of us kind of take a nice slow and steady approach to the conversation, which is nice, because I feel like I can really share anything I need to with him.
And that’s kind of fun, then, because there’s plenty of space in the conversation.
What’s not fun, is to have somebody constantly talk at you and then when you talk, they immediately as soon as you finish or they bought in or they interrupted, they go back to what they were saying it’s as if they didn’t hear you at all.
This helps a lot with, for example, conflict when I’m having an argument with my wife or something which doesn’t happen that often. And when it does, I see this slowing down and will make sure there’s time between back and forth, helps a lot to make sure we’re listening and I apply this technique definitely in arguments.
For example, how I see you just said I’m not a very nice person and what I said was mean, even if it is something like that, you know that it’s been received.
When you apply these active listening tips, you’ll find it like I do that I don’t have to say very many things to people in person to have a powerful impact with whatever I’ve said. And then whenever I do talk, people tend to listen a lot better, and really want to hear what I have to say.
I’d rather talk less, and have people really listen to what I say, then talk more and not have people really caring about it.
Thank you for listening to these active listening tips for extroverts.
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I love you. You’re awesome. I appreciate the chance to serve you today and I’ll see you again in another video.