Qualities: a good life coach
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Empathic listening - Successful communication leads to successful relationship whether it is in your family, workplace, social gatherings, or anywhere. And, one of the secrets of good communication is empathic listening.
Stephen Covey, the author of the best-selling book ‘7 Habits of highly effective people’ says, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”. I have practised and used this principle; you won’t believe it works wonders.
It is simple to apply, just listen to the other person first, and try to understand by taking a genuine interest; as it is not easy to hide if you are faking, the other person will realise it from different signs such as your body language, your voice tonality, and the vibrations you send out. Also, you have to resist your temptation to speak before you listen properly and understand the other person.
If you apply this principle when you interact with people, they will feel understood, and they will respond positively, and try to understand and support you. You will be able to create a win-win situation.
Stephen Covey said something interesting, if you want to influence someone, let that person influence you first. By influence, I do not mean to be able to control or manipulate the other person. It is about building a bridge based on trust and honesty.
We always want to put our view first. We want to influence people by imposing our views. I have done it a lot in my life, and sometimes I still do. But, as soon as I realise it, I remind myself to apply the principle. It comes with practise and if you apply it regularly, you will be able to form a habit, and you will do it spontaneously.
In the beginning, I found it difficult to resist my temptation to speak first. I thought I would be wasting time by allowing the other person to speak first. But, now I realise how good the investment is. What I have found is that when I listen first, and just be quiet, the other person tries to explain his or her situation at once, and eventually it saves me time.
Let me give you an example from my daily life as a classroom teacher, when I am teaching, if a problem arises with a pupil, I allow the pupil to speak first, and I just listen. And, by doing this I lessen the problem by 50%, the atmosphere becomes calm, relaxed and conducive because I avoid the confrontation by not imposing my own views or opinions first. And, this results in positive response from the pupil. Then we search and find a solution.
And, I do apply the principle in my home, at work or when I am interacting with my friends. I am sure you already apply this principle in your life, just think what you do when a friend or a member of family is upset and comes to you for support. Obviously, you console and listen to them first before you give your view or opinion. Just imagine what would happen if you do otherwise.
Apply this principle and share your experience with us, as we can learn immensely from one another. Another good idea is to remind yourself always that you are unique with unlimited potential, and you can make a big difference to this world.
posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 6:28 AM,
- At November 25, 2006, A Heart For Peace said...
I liked that. I seem to always under estimate the resiliancy of the human spirit, and over estimate the amount of emotion people will attach to something. That bugs me alot. If someone has a problem- I tend to want to fix it for them- as if they cannot handle it on thier own. And I always think that people feel more meaning in things than they really do. If someone is having a hard time, I always asume that they are going to be absolutly devastated. Its a mistake that makes me feel absolutly stupid.
- At November 26, 2006, Debojit Chowdhury said...
Thanks for your comments. I totally agree with you, I think sometimes we all do.
We try to help people by doing it for them but it is a lot better if we can guide them to find their own answers, as it empowers them and raises their level of self-confidence.
Let's be positive, we all make mistakes but we can learn a lot from them. This is the law of nature it constantly teaches us new ways of doing things.
- At November 29, 2006, TIM said...
Listening properly to people is so important, and can not only lead to better relationships with others, but makes you connect with a more universal whole that is patient and calm. Talking too quickly and trying to lead discussions can often feel stressful!
Tomorrow I will aim to listen carefully to others, and give a more considered response.
- At November 30, 2006, Debojit Chowdhury said...
Thank you very much for visiting the blog. I really liked your comment and what you said about connecting to the universal whole.
I firmly believe that we need to connect to our real self. Keep visiting and supporting me with your positive inspirations.
- At January 13, 2007, Robin said...
It deeply inspires me to read his books (coveys) You can read about my thoughts of his book:7 habits of highly effective people. Thank you god bless/ Robin, Blog: http://robins-psychology.blogspot.com/ .
- At February 14, 2007, Paula Neal Mooney said...
This is so wonderful and biblical.
Yes, like Covey writes in the 7 habits, seek first to understand, then to be understood.
And like the Bible says, be slow to talk and quick to listen.
- At December 13, 2007, Gibo said...
another skill i don't seem to have, listening not putting up my views first.