Multitasking gets in the way.
Here are three ways to be fully present friend or partner:
- Remove Distractions. Good listening starts with putting away the phone, close the door or stop reading your email. Give the person in front of you your full attention and let them know by your body language that you are giving them your full attention. If you are on the phone, allow yourself to be in a place that is free from multiple distractions.
- Re-frame What You Heard Them Say. In general, most human beings want to know that they have been heard and that someone is truly listening to them. We long for connection and this is one of the most intimate ways to do so. When the person has finished sharing, rephrase what you heard them say or at the very least re-frame the last few sentences, thoughts or feelings your friend or partner expressed. Or ask questions to clarify, to say more, give an example or explain further. You will be surprised at how connected you both will feel with each other.
- Refrain from giving advice…unless asked. Really…I don’t think I need to expound on this! Just don’t. Just listen.
True connections and relationships need to be nurtured and appreciated. And remember,
“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us – that we are all beautifully imperfect.”