Useful Tips

How to say to be listened to?


Is it always when the two talk, can we say that a real dialogue takes place between them - in which both listen, hear and understand each other? Unfortunately, much more often in communication between people one can observe something similar to two parallel monologues: each seeks primarily to express himself and does not so much listen to the interlocutor as he expects the opportunity to insert the next remark.

As a result, both disagree, dissatisfied with each other, who have not found mutual understanding, or even offended. Steven Covey, author of the world-famous bestselling book “Seven Skills of Highly Effective People,” suggests analyzing how we communicate in order to avoid the most common mistakes in conversation that almost all people make.

How not to listen to each other?

The three most common mistakes are:

First mistake: you do not listen to the interlocutor, but only pretend. You can even assent, nod, but your thoughts are somewhere far away. Understanding is obviously impossible.

Second error: you seem to be listening, but only certain fragments of what the interlocutor says reach your consciousness. As a result, your reaction to the above is inadequate, because you listened to, perhaps, something important.

Third mistake: you hear only words, but do not notice the feelings and feelings of the interlocutor. As a result, you mistakenly interpret the words through the prism of your experience, not noticing that the interlocutor may have a completely different meaning in them.

How not to answer each other?

And here are four of the most common mistakes that people make when answering the words of the interlocutor.

First mistake: you give your assessment of what the other person said. For example, someone complains to you that he is very tired at work, and you reply: “This is very bad, you can’t overwork”, or vice versa: “Nothing, you will rest.” It would seem that bad or wrong in such a reaction? What is wrong with it is that the interlocutor does not need your assessment at all. He wanted to talk, maybe about something sore, to open your soul. And with your assessment, you simply stopped this conversation, and it is possible that you forced him to shut up and leave his feelings to himself.

Second error: you give advice. A person complains that he is tired, and you say: “Have more rest,” “Go to bed early.” But the interlocutor hardly needs such advice - he knows all this even without you. And your advice is more like trying to brush it off so as not to delve into other people's problems.

Third mistake: you express your point of view. A person complains that he is getting tired, and you say: “Well, of course, I knew that this work of yours would not bring you to good,” or: “Of course, with such a way of life, I would also get tired.” The interlocutor again only needs to shut up, and you still won’t know why he started this conversation.

Fourth error: you start to ask questions. For example, in response to the same complaints of fatigue, you ask: “Why are you so tired of?”, “What did you do?”, “How do you relax?”, “What time do you go to bed?” But the person I wanted to share with you, and not answer your questions at all! So you will not help him in any way, but he may have the feeling that you are pushing him. Understanding again will not work.

So how do you communicate correctly?

Covey advises training in a communication technique that he calls empathic hearing. Empathy is the ability to feel the words and experiences of another person as your own, putting yourself in his place and looking at the situation from his point of view. The ability to empathy is given by nature to all people, and if it is not too developed, it can be trained.

It is not so difficult to apply the method of empathic listening in practice, if during communication you consistently perform the following four methods.

1. Repeat the words of the interlocutor with a soft interrogative intonation. For example, he says: "I’m tired of something lately." You are restraining yourself from trying so much language and advice, advice, your own opinions and questions, and gently asking again: “Are you tired?” You can repeat it without question, as if comprehending the words: “Are you tired ...” If it’s hard to immediately speak out loud, say keep silent about this phrase to yourself, but at the same time your attention should be directed to the interlocutor so that he sees that you have not remained indifferent.

2. Again, repeat the words of the interlocutor, but in other words. For example, he says: "I'm tired," you repeat: "Yes, you have a tired look."

3. Name aloud the feelings of the interlocutor that you think he is experiencing, although he does not speak about them. He: "I'm tired." You: "It's hard for you," "You worry."

4. Now combine the second and third tricks: repeat in your own words the interlocutor and call his feelings: “You have a very tired look, it’s hard for you, you are worried.”

But just keep in mind: pretense will not work here, you should be sincerely interested in talking. And then a real miracle of genuine communication will happen: as if all the walls collapse between you, the interlocutor will become extremely sincere and frank, and in response to your understanding will be ready to treat you with understanding and sympathy.

Such communication will not cause disappointment, because in it there is that very real understanding that is so rare in our life.

1. All attention - to the interlocutor

How to say to be listened to? At one time, the secrets of success in communicating with anyone were described in the book by the legendary Dale Carnegie. The advice of current gurus is in many ways similar to his recommendations, and their essence can be reduced to one sentence: before learning to speak, learn to listen - not just silently listen without interrupting (although not everyone can do this), but listen actively, responding to that what your interlocutor is talking about, sincerely reacting, asking him questions and always calling him by name. Give the person the opportunity to speak and talk about themselves - psychologists say that in this way we will satisfy one of the basic needs regarding speech: according to them, we get the maximum pleasure from communication if 70% -80% of the time we talk about ourselves. Give your interlocutor the opportunity to at least get close to these 70%: ask him questions, ask him to share his experience, along with compliments (but certainly sincere!) - and your chances of being heard will increase significantly.

2. Try to look your best

Even the most talented speakers are met, as they say, by their clothes - or rather, by the harmony of their overall appearance and self-confidence. For women, this truth is doubly true: no matter how trite, attractiveness is a win-win trump card in any discussion. Well-groomed appearance and stylish image will allow you to win the sympathy of the interlocutor even before you pronounce the first phrase. Conversely, a disheveled hairstyle, stale manicure or the smell of cigarettes can sometimes nullify the most convincing argument - from the first minutes of the meeting you will be subconsciously perceived as a person not competent enough.

The manner of holding on is equally important, if you want to improve it - the open opinion of relatives or unbiased video recording will help you. Pay attention to your gestures: if, for example, you tend to wave your arms emotionally during a conversation or, on the contrary, keep them “locked” on your chest, this will not add persuasiveness to your speech. Another important point is posture: we often do not notice our habit of slouching, and it powerfully spoils the impression of a conversation. Agree, the interlocutor with a beautiful, graceful posture instantly disposes to himself - unlike a person with clasped, hunched shoulders, one look of which speaks of self-doubt.

3. Be competent

Charisma is a great power, but even the brightest charisma will not replace specific knowledge. Whatever the matter, be it a discussion of the upcoming repair with your husband or a conversation with your superiors about raising your salary, you should be armed with information to the teeth. Consider that every conversation is a chess game in which you can improvise, but this improvisation must be carefully prepared. Gather data, read the opinions of experts on the Internet, correlate all the pros and cons. If you understand that the debate is coming tense, think about what arguments you have to face, what questions you may be asked, and prepare convincing answers to them. There must certainly be numbers in your arsenal (though it is worthwhile to observe the measure with them) and references to experts - both of these will add persuasiveness to your speech, and to you competence in the eyes of the interlocutor.

4. Speak beautifully

Numerous “as it were,” “well,” “in general,” “actually” and other parasitic words, hasty and incoherent speech — all this tires. Three minutes of such a conversation - and your interlocutor, turning on the "autopilot" mode, will simply stop listening to you. To make the form consistent with the content, improve the beauty of your speech: memorize poetry, read quality literature and retell passages aloud. Pay special attention to how your voice sounds: you probably noticed that on radio and television speakers with a low, “velvet” timbre predominate - and all because low frequencies are much more pleasant for our ear than high ones. It is clear that you cannot argue with nature, but even if you got a high voice, try to make it sound calm and even and not turn into an annoying screech. Some coaches of speech skills advise to perform an exercise called “Phone Sex” for this purpose: if you mentally try on the role of a telephone seducer, your voice itself will acquire an enchantingly soft sound.

5. Be brief

This advice is especially relevant for women - men, as a rule, are inferior to us in verbosity. It is interesting that linguists apply the term “Chekhov's style” to the masculine characteristics of speech: men really speak more concisely and succinctly, without spreading thought through the tree, while the female prerogative is “Tolstoy's style”: bulky designs, seasoned with numerous repetitions and comparisons . If at school this distinction turns out to be in our hands — thanks to the “Tolstoy style” we write multi-page compositions - then in adulthood it is more likely to interfere, where it turns out to be more useful to speak briefly and to the point. To learn brevity, try this exercise. Prepare a speech (these may be arguments in favor of raising your salary or speaking during the presentation), read it out loud, record yourself on the recorder, and after listening to what happened, make changes to make the text more concise and pleasant to hear. Do this before every responsible conversation - and brevity will gradually become your habit.

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