Have you ever had the experience that you are talking or trying to share your feelings, or incredible ideas or suggestions with others only to feel as if everything your are saying is falling on deaf ears?!
This can and does happen in our lives, our jobs, and in our relationships. And when this does happen to us, we are often left feeling angry, resentful, frustrated, and even exhausted. So, what can we do to change this dynamic? How can we get others to listen to us; to hear our thoughts, our suggestions, our feelings, and/or our incredible ideas?
Here is one sure fire way to help you get heard in your life (be it as a student, or in your workplace) and in your relationships:
Listen to Others. Yes, you read that correctly. If you want others to listen to you, you first have to listen to them. When that person feels heard, they will be much more open to hearing you too! As tough as this may be to hear, if you yourself are not feeling heard in your life and in your relationships, there is a good chance it is because you are not being a great listener either. (And I would not be telling you this if I did not know it to be true and not have embraced this concept myself first!)
Interested in getting a better idea of how good of a listener you currently are? Ask yourself the following questions to find out.
How often do you?
- Spend more time talking than listening?
- Finish the sentences of others?
- Judge the person you are listening to?
- Let the other person speak?
- Plan your response before the other person has finished?
- Keep your mouth shut without offering ANY advice?
What are you learning about how YOU listen?
If we want others to listen to us with respect and non-judgment, we must look to ourselves first and be real and honest with ourselves about whether or not we are giving that same respect and non-judgment to others. This concept may be tough to embrace because our egos, and personal needs, wants and desires are so strong. Trust me, I am human, just like you, and know that understanding this idea of listening to others so that we ourselves can also be heard, is a tough concept to incorporate and swallow at times. But I also know how incredibly effective doing this is and I encourage you to try it out.
So, practice becoming a great listener first and put your own ideas and thoughts on the back burner for now. Don’t worry, you will have your chance to share you thoughts, suggestions and feelings too. And the better you become at listening without an agenda, and with respect and non-judgment, the more successful you will be at being heard too.
For more on how to become a great listener, find my 7 steps to doing just that here.
If you have any questions or comments, you can write them here, or contact me anytime.