52 Tiny Changes
You've done it before. Tried to change your whole life in 30
days. Only to fizzle out at day 10 because it take too much time.
Join me in making a small change each week and by the end of the
year you will have made 52 improvements to your life!
with 52 changes in the subject line. Or come here each week for
a new change and some steps to help you along the way.
Tiny Change #26:
Practice really listening to someone
Sometimes I am guilty of not listening. The kids will say something
while I am in the middle of writing and I will nod and pretend
I am listening. Or my husband will start talking about computers
and I will zone out. But, when I take the time to listen, really
listen, the rewards are many.
I have to turn away from the computer, put down my book, or stop
cleaning and turn towards them. I look into their eyes. I turn
off my brain telling me I need to be doing something else.
I try not to make judgments like you should have..., why didn't
you... or I would have.... Then they open up. I learn more about
them and their feelings and their struggles.
My son told me of his difficulties playing pool at the youth
group last night. And then of his ingenious new game of pool he
made up. Now I have a new father son thing they can do together
and got to admire my son who too often I see as an aggravation.
My daughter came to me with her struggle to make new friends
as one of her best friends moved to the Bahamas. I listened. Then
we brainstormed a little for ideas. We also discovered together
that she had lots of friends. Now we make sure she invites a friend
over at least once a week.
My goal is to be a mom that my kids can come to when they have
a problem, especially as they are reaching the teenage years.
I don't want to have kids that shut down when we talk because
of too many years of judgment and control. Often we have our own
agenda when we talk to people, without trying to hear what they
are trying to say.
My goal as a wife is to develop a closeness than only deepens
with years instead of drifting apart.
My goal with friends and clients is to try to understand them.
To encourage and listen. I want to learn from others instead of
spouting off what I think I know.
I want listening to be a priority in my life.
Some tips for better listening:
- Stop whatever you are doing and look at them
- Quiet your mind
- Don't try to form replies in your head until after they have
- Be aware of their body language and what they are not saying-
not all that is communicated is in words
- Don't make pat answers and quick solutions. Work together
if that is what they want. If they just want to vent, let them
air their feelings without trying to fix the problem.
- Ask constructive questions
- Don't try to bring the conversation back to you right away
- Be aware of your judgments and the filters you are using that
might cloud what they are really trying to say
- Don't interrupt
- Stay focused and seek clarification if needed
- Be respectful
Parents Can Model Good Listening Skills-Article on communication
Listening -Academic Exercise and lots of info on listening
Projects -Mediating conflicts
Who do you need to listen better to?
Tiny Changes Archive