Husbands, we’ve got a reputation for being bad listeners. Whether it’s deserved or not is not important, but rather if we as individuals are going to fit the stereotype.
I recently went to a conference on leadership that listens and I came away with three things to focus on when it comes to communication in all relationships, not just at work.
#1 – When listening, seek first to understand
What are you thinking about when someone is talking to you? What to say next? A similar experience you had that relates to what they’re saying? Possible solutions to their problem? The hardest protocols for me to work through at the conference were the ones that forced us to simply listen without responding to the person we were talking to. It became apparent to me very quickly that when I listen, I am seeking first to come up with a solution or response. I don’t think this came as a surprise, just a non-subtle reminder.
#2 – The words we use are far less important than we think
7% of our communication has to do with the actual words we use. 7%! The other 93% consists of non-verbals and the tone we use. This means that we are constantly sending messages, not only when we’re talking but especially when we’re listening…or not listening.
#3 – If your spouse doesn’t ask for advice, don’t give it!
Guys, how many times have we heard “She doesn’t want you to fix it, she just wants you to listen!”!? It’s true. But I would go so far as to say that most people, not just your wife, feel the same way.
It’s not easy. It’s not natural. But if you want to instantly improve your relationships,