The Active Listening relationship technique is described to help improve a marriage or relationship, to Deepen Understanding.

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Active Listening can Deepen Understanding and help to Fall in Love again.

– By Bruce Lynch for 15of.com

Learn to use the Active Listening relationship technique to improve your Marriage or Relationship.

“Being Heard” is one Key to Understanding, a Key Active Listening opens to you.

The ability to listen actively can improve personal relationships through reducing conflicts, strengthening cooperation, and fostering understanding.” - WikiPedia

Do you want to "Be Heard" by your girlfriend or boyfriend in your relationship? Perhaps you prefer Action. Learn to be trusted more and to get your ex back.

Show that you care. You are interested. You are trying to Understand.

"Honey, the tire blew. I went over a curb. It was terrible!" she says as She walks in the door.

His Answer #1. "Did you get the spare fixed?" he quickly responds. Why? He Wants Action.

Ah, a young one, young He is in relationship skills. There would have been time to talk about replacing the spare. Now, you have upset Her. You did not let Her "Be Heard."

Are you the Action person in the Relationship? If you are, you would benefit greatly. Learn Active Listening rules and techniques here in this article. Then use the Active Listening Method soon. Try it, initially for a few minutes.

Active Listening can feel odd initially. It takes practice.

What is the your boyfriend or girlfriend Feeling and Thinking? Active Listening will help you gather those answers.

Start Active Listening for 2 or 3 minutes initially.

Active Listening Rule: Reflect about your Boyfriend's or Girlfriend's reality.

His Answer #2. "Oh, wow, honey. Were you shocked when the tire blew?"

Good job! He used Active Listening. He focused on what She said and in the time period she named.

Active Listening Rule: Your Reflection, Reflecting needs to be focused.

Your reflection points to what happened and focuses on the moment an event happened.

Active Listening Rule: You do not talk about implications or consequences.

Active Listening Rule: Do not Anticipate. 

Do not Ask a Question, not yet. That comes after Active Listening, after She has Been Heard.

His Answer #3: "Oh, you were relieved I am sure when AAA came."

Yuk! What is She likely to say to such Anticipating language?

She might respond with,

"No, honey. I had to wait for them for 45 minutes. I was late for my appointment." Do not Anticipate when using Active Listening.

Active Listening Rule: An important Active Listening idea: Discuss No Solutions until Next Day.

If you abide by the rules of Active Listening, then you can not bring up new ideas. The person being heard can bring up what ever they want to. You reflect on what the Other is currently saying, not on what may be implied.

Bite your tongue if you need to. You can not bring up a solution when She wants to Be Heard. If She brings up a solution, do not pursue it. Not yet. Wait until the next day.

This Delay is Not required. It is Best to Structure Conversation a little, if it will help.

Hunny, what I want now is to better Understand what happened and how you feel about it. Maybe it would be better to stay on that now and to talk about possible solutions later.”

Now, who would not like to hear such a suggestion? Instead of pushing, you are calm and focused on Hearing and Understanding.

Those are the Rules as I use them. Following is more about Active Listening.

The Wikipedia Entry about Active Listening begins with:

Active listening is a communication technique that requires the listener to understand, interpret, and evaluate what he hears. The ability to listen actively can improve personal relationships through reducing conflicts, strengthening cooperation, and fostering understanding.

Suspending one’s own frame of reference, suspending judgment and avoiding other internal mental activities are important to fully attend to the speaker.

A nice Diagram of Repeating, Paraphrasing and Reflecting is included.

Learn more about Active Listening at Wikipedia.

MindTools teaches Active Listening: Be deliberate with your listening and remind yourself frequently that your goal is to truly hear what the other person is saying. Set aside all other thoughts and behaviors and concentrate on the message. Ask questions, reflect, and paraphrase to ensure you understand the message. If you don't, then you'll find that what someone says to you and what you hear can be amazingly different!” 

MindTools describes 5 Keys to Active Listening:

  1. Pay attention. 

  2. Show that you are listening.

  3. Provide feedback.  Reflect what has been said by paraphrasing. "What I'm hearing is." and "Sounds like you are saying." are great ways to reflect back. Ask questions to clarify certain points. "What do you mean when you say." "Is this what you mean?" Summarize the speaker's comments periodically.

  4. Defer Judgment

  5. Respond Appropriately

You can be an Active Listener, even for 3 minutes. Show that you care. You are interested. You are trying to Understand.

Start with small Active Listening experiments.

Try Active Listening for 3 minutes or 5. It does require discipline not to start suggestions.

Should you discuss Active Listening with you partner first? Ideally, yes. Yet, there can be no harm in using your new skill before later pointing back to successful conversations.

Parenting improves with Active Listening.

The desire to Be Heard is strong among children. You will be a better parent if you wait until the Next Day, even better when you use Active Listening.

Key Principles exist that make life better. Active Listening is one such Principle. I use it in many relationships with my adult children and those I want to understand deeply.

The focus of much of my writing is about Principles and Techniques that Make Life Better.

To learn those principles, my life experience is rich in training, at university, at IBM, Boeing and Computer Sciences and in a Church. It also includes reading the Bible word by word more than 10 times, reading the scriptures of each Great Religion, reading biographies of 220+ people who achieved a degree of Greatness and direct experience with over 10 start-up technology companies.

Learn at our 15of.com relationships website about four more relationship techniques.

- BruceLynch

Bruce W. Lynch

15of.com about Relationship Techniques





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