How Active Listening Can Help Improve a Relationship
Active listening refers to the process by which a person has that listening skill and is able to develop a form of communication that will allow him/her to reach out to another person by fully hearing what that person is trying to say. Since listening and communication are essential elements which can help improve relationships, in order for a couple to be successful in their relationship, they must communicate and listen in a meaningful way.
Providing space for the other person to speak
When you allow time for the other person to speak, this is already indicating that you will also take effort to refrain yourself from arguing your case while the other person is stating his/her position or to resist the urge to interrupt and cut off the other person speaking, and, therefore, when you do these, you will have more chances of listening well to the person speaking and understanding what he/she is driving at.
When you are in a dialogue with another person, you must establish a goal on focusing more on the other person’s emotional needs; in this way, you are putting yourself in the person’s shoes during the conversation and, in this way, you will be able to understand his/her perspective better and, at the same time, you begin to be an active listener, one who listens and tries to understand the other person’s side.
Avoid the negative thought of jumping to conclusions about the other person, especially when you both are in the middle of a dialogue, because this indicates that you have already entertained in your mind a pre-existing belief about the other person, which can block your skill of being an active listener, therefore, focus more on how to resolve your relationship issues in a positive way.
During the process of communication and listening to each other, when the other person has finished his/her position, it’s time to ask questions for clarification purposes, but don’t set the tone of asking questions like you are making accusations, and when the other person answers your questions, listen well to determine the truth of his/her statements.
Summarize what the other person says
It’s not a negative way if you rephrase what you all heard from the other person because you are just confirming whether you heard it all right and by rephrasing what the other person says, you communicate back the points he/she has made objectively and, in doing so, you have understood clearly the other person’s point of view, which is still part of active listening. Learning how to be an active listener is being an effective communicator, such that when you are in a dialogue to resolve a relationship, by focusing on what the other person is saying will actually allow you to put yourself in a good position to understand more the situation, because when you listen correctly, you also learn more.