Improving Listening Skills

Improving listening skills can be as simple as making a commitment inside your own brain to pay attention.

However, that commitment can be quickly forgotten (as fast as 1/18th second) if the message your are trying to hear is laced with contempt or disgust, or there is a great deal of distraction in the environment.

There is a reason why important communications are done in private or in a quiet environment.

I know that when my children are clamoring for attention while my wife and I are trying to talk, I overload sensorily very quickly and it is easy to snap out on the kids because I cannot hear all those important messages and process them at the same time, it is overwhelming, so i need to be able to say to folks, one at a time please, and attend to the messages of people who I love and who love me in a more sequential manner. My daughter will have nothing to do with waiting her turn, since she is four, and I often need to give her some attention first in the family crucible, and my wife will join in when she sees what is happening with Hannah and I.

Once Hannah has been heard, communications can become more sequential.

This particular family dynamic usually happens when one parent or the other arrives home and the family all wants to greet them, so I need to be prepared for it, greet the younger, less patient kids first and then greet my wife.

So improving listening skills might include planning to keep some internal calmness in those situations where we know communications will be chaotic.

And then, of course, we will double check what happened to make sure all our messages were heard clearly.

Not sure about you, but we have had a couple family plans not followed because communications were garbled.

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