You are lucky! Why? Because you realize you have a fear of listening to others. Some folks don't even know they harbor such a fear. Many people block out what others are saying because they are afraid that what they hear may be a mind-changer. In other words, if I listen carefully to you, your ideas may be so spot-on that I will change my opinion. Your ideas may cause me to change my mind about something. And changing one’s mind can be scary.
But here is the reason you must get control of your fear and become a person who listens carefully from the heart. Listening to each other transforms our relationships. Good listening habits help us build healthy, supportive, loving, and long-lasting relationships with our family members, our friends, our co-workers.
Here are some tips on how to quash your fear of listening and improve your listening skills:
1) Prepare yourself. Tell yourself that you are flexible in your opinions and willing to consider other viewpoints.
2) Look at the person who is speaking (if you are in the same space) - concentrate on his/her eyes
3) Fold your hands and don't fiddle with your fingers
4) Take a deep breath and let it out slowly - not with a whoosh which may give an impression you are bored. Do this every 30 seconds or so to keep your mind revved with oxygen.
5) When the speaker is finished, remind yourself that you are flexible.
6) Count to 10 before you give feedback.
Please let me know if you feel better about listening to others.
Dr. Joan’s Harmony Key: One who listens fully builds good will in relationships.