We have all been there. You are saying something important and the other person responds to you with, “Uh huh”, “Mmm hmm”, or a silent nod. As frustrating as it is, deep down you know they are not listening. 

So here’s the question, how could you tell? After all, they did say, “Uh huh” so they must have been paying attention right? 

We’ve all engaged in distracted listening, and we all know what it feels like when we aren’t being heard or understood.

What you are picking up on is the difference between hearing and listening. They are both connected but they are not the same thing.

Hearing is when sounds hits your eardrum. Listening is when you make meaning of what you heard and, you remember it. 

Read through to the end to learn more about how you can improve your communication and build healthy relationships.

Effective listening is key in developing better relationships at home and at work. 

Listening is also a key element to connecting you with the perspective of others and managing conflict.

Your relationships at work and at home depend on your ability to listen to others effectively. Active listening is a process, and it takes work. There can be a lot of distractions getting in the way of your listening and one of the big challenges is how we perceive the value of listening. 

Mindfulicity team member Lana Bentley reminds us:

“Sometimes we might get the subtle message that if we are talking, we are winning.

If we are listening, we are losing.”

 Barriers to effective communication:

●     Pressure to respond right away

●     Physical noise from your environment

●     Thinking of the next thing to say

●     Multitasking

If you are engaging in active listening, you are understanding, and you are connecting with others.

In fact, when we are not actively listening, we may create more work for ourselves. 

The consequence of not listening fully is that you may miss information which contributes to your workload. Avoid this pitfall by following these simple steps of actively listening.

The 4 steps to being an active listener:

  1. Focus on what the person is saying
  2. Follow with body language
  3. Feed what you’ve heard back for understanding
  4. Frame what you heard in a wider context

“When we are listening for understanding, we are listening for subtext. We are taking in all the information.” Lana Bentley

 You have the best chance of being an effective listener when you avoid distractions and give others your full attention.

Try these 4 steps of actively listening at home and at work and improve your relationships overnight.

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Mindfulicity provides practical tools everyone can put into action immediately, every day, to drive better relationships, communication, and decision-making both at work and at home.

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