My Rules: Listening

“When a person realizes he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying: “Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it’s like to be me”

Carl R. Rogers

Edward Burne-Jones, The Hours, 1870-82

Edward Burne-Jones, The Hours, 1870-82

Being a good listener can help you to see the world through the eyes of others. It enriches your understanding and expands your capacity for empathy. It also increases your contact with the outside world by helping you improve your communication skills and awareness. Good listening skills can provide you with a deeper level of understanding about someone’s situation. As simple as listening (and acknowledging) may seem, doing it well, particularly when disagreements arise, takes sincere effort and lots of practice. Every case is different, but few simple rules are important to follow:

• Be the principle “here-and-now”! Mind and body should feel relaxed.
• Wait patiently for the person to open up.
• Listen objectively while the client is speaking.
• Your flexibility and intuition will find the balance between silence and verbal communication. Be attentive to every detail and non-verbal signs.
• Enter into the field of the problem, but don’t lose the position of the witness.
• Follow the right tempo.

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