Have you ever been in the situation where you have been explaining a situation to someone and they kept interrupting with thoughts and ideas that were either irrelevant or you already knew, and all you wanted to yell at them was “just listen”.
Listening is a gift you can give to a person that means a lot to them and costs you nothing.
Here are some points I keep in mind when I find myself wanting to talk instead of listen.
- The listener does not have to add value
When someone is sharing a concern we often feel the need to help and we blurt out our ideas. The truth is most people are the best subject matter experts of their own lives and they may just need to dump their frustrations out loud.
- Listening can help other people solve their own problems
Your silence invites the other person to search deeper. Often just listening to someone helps them think their own way to a solution.
- The mere act of listening strengthens relationships
When you truly give someone the gift of your time – and your silence – it helps to build trust and mutual respect. Your listening can also help to build the other person’s confidence.
Are there times when you have been too hasty to offer your brilliant ideas and solutions. Can you practice being a better listener and learn to give people the gift of silence. Surprisingly, giving that gift makes people think you’re a great conversationalist too!