We have been exploring the world of being an active listener and how it will enrich the communication in your relationship. This is the last in the 3-part series of active listening techniques. Listening is so important because it communicates to our partner that the words they speak to us have value…which translates to them, the person, that they have value and significance in our lives. If we truly value our spouse, don’t we want them feel valued? Of course, we do! And as an added bonus, when our partner feels valued and important they are more likely to want the same for us. It is a win-win for both.
In the first blog we looked at the techniques of encouraging (to convey interest and encourage more talking) and clarifying(to get more information and help see the speakers point of view). The second blog introduced the techniques of restating (to check that we are understanding the basic ideas and facts) and reflecting (similar to restating and also including the meaning and feelings that are accompanying the words).
Here are the last two of the six techniques of active listening to be presented:
Active Listening Technique #5:
Summarizing– As we are having conversation and dialogue with our partner it is often appropriate to stop the conversation to review the progress and pull together the important ideas and facts that have been expressed. This will help establish a foundation for further discussion. Each person expresses the ideas as well as the feelings that have been conveyed. You might say:
“These seem to be the main ideas you have expressed…”
Validating – For most of us this is one of the most important listening skills needed for healthy conversation. Validating is to acknowledge the worthiness of the other person and their thoughts, ideas, feelings, and beliefs. It is also a time to express appreciation for their efforts and actions. Some examples of this technique might be:
“I appreciate your willingness to resolve this matter…”
“I understand how/why you would feel that way.”
Take a few moments to review these active listening techniques. Think about which technique your partner needs most from you. Then begin practicing that listening skill. Putting active listening into practice will revolutionize the conversation and interaction in your relationship.
Need further help? Call Carma to schedule an appointment (321-251-8344).