Becoming a better listener has been a focus of my own personal growth for several years now. Listening well does not come naturally to me.
I have learned to leverage three prompts to assist me in being a more attentive listener.
Here are those three conditioners:
- Curiosity - I try to go into each conversation/encounter with a curious mind, in search of hearing/seeing/feeling/learning something I didn't know previously. Engaging with curiosity also helps me ask better questions.
- Suspend assumptions - I try to put any presuppositions or assumptions I have about a situation or a person "on the shelf" in order to minimize my biases while hearing the other person out.
- What if I’m wrong? - I try to go into each conversation/dialogue with the understanding that I may be proven wrong, or mis-informed, or un-enlightened. Adopting an I-may-be-proven-wrong mindset seems to help me be more transparent in the discourse, and it seems to help me accept more freely the perspective of others.
I think I'm getting better at it......................just not as fast as I'd like.