Six Tips To Turn New Listening Skills Into Effective Communication-incubus

Everyone wants to be happy in their marriages. One of the most important keys to a happy marriage is good communication. Another key is that an appropriate amount of time be spent focusing on the relationship. Time spent in effective communication depends largely on the ability to be a good listener and to convey that to your partner. Good listening skills are important to any relationship. "Active listening", or "reflective listening", involves making sure that you heard what was actually said by repeating it back. Active listening is a cornerstone upon which to build good communication skills. Many times, the core of the communication problems lie with listening. One of the first things that you need to learn to change how you communicate with your spouse. Without good communication skills, there are no effective problem solving skills. Effectively communication is impossible without accurately hearing what is being said. There is no effective communication without effective listening. An absence of effectively listening involves a mismatch between the message sent and the one received. Although this may happen for a lot of reasons, a simple absence of listening, is a major culprit. One thing that can get in the way of good listening involves making the assumption that it is not necessary to listen past a certain point. Additionally, failing to pay attention or succumbing to distractions, and rehearsing one’s response, are all possible contributions to listening difficulties. The listener may assume that he/she knows what the other is going to say, and may thus attend to just enough of the message to confirm his/her belief. At other times, a listener may be tuning out what the other person is saying while s/he tries to come with his or her rebuttal. Both of these scenarios are setups for the condition where couples dig themselves in deeper and deeper trying to be understood and not realizing that neither is hearing what is actually said. What often appears to be focus or attention difficulties are merely lack of listening. Partners fail to listen deliberately or non-deliberately. To listen well, follow these suggestions: 1. Pay close attention to what is going on. 2. Concentrate on what they are saying. 3. Maintain eye contact without staring. 4. Don’t interrupt. 5. Don’t worry about what you are going to say until s/he is finished. 6. Practice active listening. Each individual person has his or her own perceptual filters that color how they experience their world and their interactions. These perceptual "filters" are made up of your own experiences, beliefs, attitudes, mood states, and relationship events. Your filters are uniquely your own. The more impact that those events or factors that have created your filters, the long lasting and influential those filters will be on current relationship events. Active listening assists couples in "neutralizing" some of the impact of those filters and allows for more accurate perception in the present. Listening can be improved by practicing reflective listening techniques. Filters can be overridden by identifying that you have them, and looking at the patterns in the assumptions that you have been making about what is being said. Some people have filters about abandonment fears. Others are ultra-sensitive to criticism. The phrase, "What I hear you saying is…." is one example of an active listening technique. Other clarifying questions could serve as active listening. When you clarify a message, you are trying to confirm that the message sent and the message received are the same message. Even though you may be using this technique, the process can still get derailed when the paraphrased "what I heard you saying" message is met with "that is not what I said". In such cases, an argument ensues over which one is correct. Couples get derailed by arguing about what was actually said or not said in the first place. This is easily remedied by each person clarifying his or her message with a phrase like "actually, what I intended to say was…" Reflective listening feels awkward, unnatural, odd, stiff, and just plain weird. It does however, have a number of benefits that make it worth practicing and learning. You can eliminate most of your arguments by making sure that the message that is received is the one that was sent. By carefully clarifying messages, you can discover your own themes in filters that color how you take in the contemporary events in your life. Once you identify your sensitivity to certain messages and themes, some of the power of those filters can be neutralized. If you know that you are sensitive to abandonment messages, you don’t have to panic when your partner says, "I’m starting to get angry in this discussion. I’m going to take a break and go to the store." In the past, instead of hearing that, you might have heard "I’m mad at you and I’m leaving you". If you have identified abandonment fear as a filter and your partner leaves in the middle of an argument, you can reassure yourself that your partner did not say that s/he was leaving you forever. When you can actually hear what is being said in your conversations, you are less likely to engage in circular arguing, with each volley of verbal assaults setting up more miscommunication. Communication exercises and training that have an active listening component are especially helpful. Communication exercises like The Honey Jar, that is amenable to utilize a set time and place to hold a talk session, sets up a routine that is more likely to be followed. About the Author: Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D. is a Licensed Alcohol/Drug Counselor and Licensed Marriage/Family Therapist, who provide professional counseling in Stillwater, OK. Dr. Ferguson’s website has a number of helpful articles and resources available at http://www.peggyferguson.com The Honey Jar, A Couple’s Conversation Starter, can be downloaded at http://www.peggyferguson.com/ServicesProvided.en.html Article Published On: http://www.articlesnatch.com – Self-Improvement 相关的主题文章:

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