Very seldom do we listen to understand. Many arguments would never happen if we would:
- First understand someone has to speak and someone has to listen. You can only do one at a time – speak or listen.
- Decide who is going to listen and who is going to speak.
- When you get stuck slow down and use these steps.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear,slow to speak, slow to anger;” James 1:19
- Stop and focus on the words, tone and body language.
- Listen to understand without the pressure of agreement.
- Repeat what we think we heard to the person speaking.
- Allow the speaker to confirm or correct your understanding
- Switch roles then repeat.
- When you both confirm that you understand each other then brainstorm solutions
Every couple has to get to understanding, but they may not get to agreement. Relax and listen with the goal to understand.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
― Stephen R. Covey,