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Speaking Before Listening

Welcome back..This topic today is something I struggle with at times maybe more so than I would like. I’ve been told of my selective listening skills at times, which is based on several things, I have a short attention span at time, sometimes my counseling techniques come into play because at some moments doing a session,  you have to weed through a persons full response to get to the root cause and so I sometimes I apply that in normal conversations, which isn’t good because at times I do miss important details on where the story is going. It’s very important to pay attention to what someone is telling you, because if you’re always ready to speak you can miss a thing or two. I’ve been in many “discussions” where I was ready to just speak my mind that I missed out on a chance to understand how someone truly felt in a situation and that can be hurtful to that person because they didn’t’ feel like they were heard. I’ve found the following helpful in being able to calm my thoughts down in moments where my emotions can get the best of me.

Reflecting is Key:If you aren’t able to reflect back to someone what they just said then this just maybe something to work on. There are two forms of this, Mirroring what someone has said or Paraphrasing. Sometimes taking a moment, telling the other person that you are processing everything said and try to repeat back in a sense what they mentioned, helps you focus on what’s being talked about, it gives you time to process things instead of feeling rushed and needing to respond and it helps make the other person feel good that you are paying attention. Theres nothing like expressing yourself to someone to find that they weren’t really listening. In these moments it’s also good to ask if you understood them correctly with you repeating things back (Mirroring). This is a great way to build on communication because you put more emphasis on listening and attending to the person while talking or outbursts take a back seat.  This can be an impulsive way to handle things and we want to avoid that, less acting on emotion and more on taking a brief moment to reflect on things before opening your mouth.

Take a Step Back: This at times can be a tough one, when you’re full of emotion and maybe want to scream, take that step back before responding to things, you must  give yourself 10 seconds before you say anything. Practice this in other areas of your life for it to be a useful tool to implement in these situations. This is another good time to just tell someone to give you a minute, your processing what has been said before you speak. I feel people can respect this because it really shows that you’re paying attention and making a conscious effort to be present in the conversation.

I think this is a great skill to nurture, just focusing on listening in each moment of the day, try to repeat things back, write things down to get more clarification but just make it a priority to listen before you speak, you can miss out on so much when you don’t.  You’ll be surprised to see all the goodness that comes out of nurturing this skill. You realize when you start to do this others start to mimic your skills so as you take a step back and reflect before speaking you find that your interpersonal communication has more meaning with both parties putting emphasis on listening.

Lastly, as you pay attention to getting more out of your conversations, you may also find that you might learn ways to listen to your body, listen to when things are going on with you, to make sure you’re in tune with your needs in certain moments. I think this gives me an idea for a future topic.

Like I have mentioned, I am not at all where I want to be and still a work in progress but I share a bit of what has worked for me, in hopes that it can light something in you to make the changes you need to.

Thanks for coming.


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