Chapter 4

Listening Actively for Total Understanding

In This Chapter

arrow Figuring out what someone means

arrow Listening with empathy

arrow Treating others with respect

I’d like to ask you some questions. Have you ever wanted to state an observation without someone judging or evaluating what you’re saying? Do you long to express your needs, values and feelings straight from your heart without fear of reprisal? And what about making a request knowing that your listeners are interpreting your message the way that you want them to? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you’re not alone. I guess that everyone reading this chapter longs to be listened to without being assessed, criticised or misunderstood.

More often than not, when people are listening they’re distracted, thinking about something else or considering their responses to what they’ve just heard. When you practise active listening, however, you focus solely on the speaker, pay attention and respond while letting go of your own point of view. You shelve your personal judgements and avoid internal distractions in order to give the person speaking your unbiased and undivided attention.

People who listen actively, ...

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