Thursday, February 23, 2012

From Relationship Enlightenment: Listening and Reflecting Back

This is from my new blog:

This is so simple.
And it works.

It works because it violates several of the habits
of the conversations
that we have that either "get nowhere"
"go downhill fast."

It violates the habit of interrupting when we get worked up
about what the other said.

It violates the habit of defending ourselves before we've really
considered the "other side."

It violates the habit of:
"What I have to say is important. You, shut up and listen."

It violates the central habit of arguing, the two sided game
"I'm Right and you are Wrong."
"No, no, you've got it backwards: I'm Right and you're Wrong."

And you've heard of it before,
it's called reflexive listening.

And here it is again.

1. Get a timer. Set it for two minutes.
Let your partner have their turn.
They say anything they want for the two minutes.
You say nothing.

2. After the two minutes, you repeat back to them
what you heard.
No interpretations.
No defending.
Just what they said.
Pause. Breathe.

3. Ask them of you missed anything.
 a. If so, have them repeat what you missed
 b. And you repeat back what you missed.
 c. And you asked again, Did I miss anything there?
 d. If not, move on. If yes, go back to 3.a.

4. Now it's your turn.
You talk for two minutes.
"Your side" of the issue.
Or just what's important to say, having heard and listened to
what they said.
Go slowly.
Don't try to be right.
Try to talk from your feelings and wishes, leaving out
any criticisms ( including criticisms of them for being
critical. One person at a time wising up)
Talk from what you want and you wish for and the solution
you'd like to see.

Go really slow and actually listen to yourself,
your voice tone, your undercurrent messages, your needs or wants or feelings.
Try to sense your body as you talk.

Which is to say: As much as you can, be present.

5. The timer rings ( later, you can go up to 3 or 4 minutes,
you'll have to discover how long you can listen and still hear it
all and repeat it back). You stop.

They tell you what they heard and ask if they missed anything.

6. And so on.

You'll  know you're really getting somewhere when you're as interested in
their side of things as you are in your own.

This is your life.
You supposedly love this person.
This is a chance to make things better.

Take it.

1 comment:

Mae said...

"For all Food junkies out there , visit and .
They got everything you need to know about food.