By Sophia Fromell
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Do you sometimes feel that you speak but nobody is paying attention?
Do you often explain things but it seems that people do not listen?
– Understand your audience: Pay attention to who you speak to, understand what works for them and understand their interests and background. If you are speaking to a single person about young kids, they might be likely to be bored. Equally, if you are getting too technical with a person who is not very technically minded.
– Ensure you are not coming across as too critical: Often we try to give advice but the tone of our voice might sound like we are criticizing.
– Take time to listen to yourself: Listening is about being in the present moment. Before you ask other to listen to you, you need to take the time to listen to yourself. Listen to your intuition, that’s what drives you through life.
– Set the scene: If you feel that you have to say something that will be difficult or challenging for the other person to hear, start with a few sentences, as a preface to set the stage so that your words won’t fall on deaf ears.
– Overcome anger: Often in interpersonal relationships we get very angry especially with those nearest and dearest to us. When you get angry you can be sure that the other person will not be listening to what you are saying. Anger is a reaction for fear, sadness, or pain and we subconsciously choose to express this emotion because it is a far more accessible emotion than the vulnerable feelings that hide beneath. When you set the scene and you express your emotions in a precise and thoughtful manner, you increase the chances of being listened to.
– Use “I” not “you”: when you express your feelings it may be difficult to control your emotions. Try and use words that will express how you feel instead of projecting your feelings to the other person. For example: “I feel that I am not being heard…” instead of “you never listen to me”.
For more direction on how to make yourself heard, consider a certified life coach to guide you.