How to Improve Relationships with Mindful Deep Listening
Deep or mindful listening occurs when you listen with more than your ears. It opens you up to hearing without judgment, thus, improving your relationships with others. Deep listening involves listening with your mind and heart – your whole being. You’re giving completely when you engage in deep listening. You let go of all your thoughts, ideas, opinions and beliefs and just listen.
Deep listening is healing. This means that the person being listened to can feel a great sense of release and let go of frustrations, anxieties or sadness. Through deep listening, true communication occurs – people want to be listened to more than anything else.
Deep listening comes from an inner calm. If your mind is wild, it’s very difficult to listen properly. If your mind is in turmoil, go away to listen to your breathing or even to your own thoughts. By doing so you give your thoughts space to arise out of the unconscious, and you thereby release them.
Here’s how to listen to someone deeply and mindfully:
Stop doing anything else. Set your intention to listen deeply.
Look the person in the eye when he speaks.
Put aside all your own concerns and worries.
Listen to what the person is saying and how he’s saying it.
Listen with your whole being, your mind and heart, not just your head.
Observe posture and tone of voice as part of the listening process.
Notice the automatic thoughts popping into your head as you listen. Do your best to let them go and come back to listening.
Ask questions if necessary, but keep them genuine and open rather than trying to change the subject. Let your questions gently deepen the conversation.
Let go of judgment as far as you can. Judging is thinking rather than deep listening.
Let go of trying to solve the problem or giving the person the answer.
When you give the other person the space and time to speak without judging, he begins to listen to himself. What he’s saying becomes very clear to him. Then, quite often, the solution arises naturally. He knows himself far better than you do. By jumping straight into solutions, you only reduce the opportunity that person has to communicate with you. So, when listening, simply listen.