Do you really listen to others? Do you focus your full attention on the conversation in hand? Many people don’t. It’s common to listen to some of the conversation and put two and two together. But, with practice, mindfulness techniques can help you to engage with others fully.
To listen to others is a compliment
We are so busy juggling the tasks of life these days that a great many of us have forgotten how to listen. Consider this, how many times has someone asked, ‘are you listening?’ You’ve very quickly and perhaps, guiltily, brought your attention back to the conversation. We all do this, yet, listening is such a compliment to others. You have probably experienced it both ways yourself and maybe you found it insulting when others tuned out of the conversation when you are talking? Equally, when someone hangs onto your every word, doesn’t that feel amazing? Therefore, to improve listening skills, you need to practice mindfulness.
Ready for Mindfulness listening?
To listen fully, you need to embark upon the mindfulness way. This doesn’t mean meditating for hours, you just have dedicate attention and intention to the task. Why? Intention means you have a genuine interest in what the other person has to say. When you pay attention to someone, you remain open and, in the moment, you don’t line up your own conversation making assumptions as to what the other is going to say.
When you practice mindfulness, you need to develop a strong sense of self-awareness. You need to be able to listen to yourself fully, when you learn to quieten the mind, you can learn much about yourself as a person. To do this, you need to call stop on distracted thoughts. Of course, it’s not always that easy. These days we are so distracted. Thoughts, feelings and actions all become muddled. We are under so much pressure that we rush from task to task and we dedicate only half of our attention on each task. When you listen to others, you need to focus fully. You need to be sure that you are paying attention to that other person and really listening. This means developing awareness of their body language, noticing facial expressions as well as the words they use.
Are you listening?
You can glean much about what someone is saying when you develop your awareness. Show that person you are listening to them by reflecting on what they are saying. Repeat some phrases back to confirm you have been paying attention, ask questions. All this equates to mindfulness listening and engaging fully in the conversation. Mindfulness simply means you remain in the present. You engage fully in that moment. So, next time you are in a conversation, try it. Ask yourself, are you listening? If yes, you will glean so much more from a single conversation.