The Power of Active Listening
So as you may or may not know I've been with my mentor Mastin Kipp for a while now, ever since my Bali experience and not long ago I attended his At Home Relationship Retreat where he shared with us the process of active listening.
Antonio and I have been practicing it ever since we learned about it and I have to say, doing this process when you have an issue feels amazing. Every time we do this process (remembering to do it is the biggest challenge) we both feel heard and seen.
Once I tried this technique it just seemed so crazy to think that this isn't a commonly known practice. Everyone should be taught to communicate with one another in a healthy way. So much of the violence, frustration, and rage we see (I believe) is from people not feeling seen and/or heard.
If we were all willing and able to communicate in this way, I believe violence would dramatically lessen, if not end. I believe that if everyone felt seen and heard they wouldn't act out in hatred. War, politicians, racism, sexism, and many other issues that we have would actually be discussed and we'd come to solutions vs. blame one another.
Blame helps no one. If there's one thing I've discovered, it's that personal responsibility and open communication has lead me to the healthiest, most loving, and most freeing relationships I've ever been in. This stuff works! Give it a whirl and let me know what you think! I'd love to hear your feedback!
ACTIVE LISTENING TECHNIQUE
In this process, one person will be the initiator and the other person is the active listener. Following the steps below.
Clearly focus on one issue only: describe what you want
Express your feelings, thoughts, (get to the real truth, not the surface story)
Avoid blaming, accusation, name-calling, and it's important to acknowledge the positive aspects as well
Be open to self-discovery
Use I statements. For example I feel _____________________.
Listen calmly: Important to remember Do not defend yourself, are you or cross-complain
Ask questions like: “tell me more” & “why is that important to you?”
Empathize with your partner: come over to your partner's Lane and imagine how they are feeling.
Recap what you heard repeat back what you heard them say and make sure if it was complete and accurate
Active listening occurs when your defenses become less important than your partner's needs
Your partner is not your enemy
The one with more awareness equals more responsibility
This is about practice, not perfection. You're not going to get it right always but it's going to feel a lot better communicating this way and the way you may have communicated in the past.
Your partner is their own person: they have their own thoughts, feels and are having their own experience separate from yours.
Remember to be compassionate
Be open to your own experience, get curious about the way you process thoughts and feelings and remember it may be different than your partner's way. There's no right or wrong way
I hope you find this helpful :)! xo- laurie marie