good listenerToday I want to talk to you about being a great listener. To have a great life, full of amazing opportunities and close relationships, the number one skill you need is to be able to listen. And let’s face it, most people out there are lousy listeners. Here are 3 keys to becoming a great listener…

1. Don’t React Right Away

A great listener is someone who doesn’t react right away. A great listener has patience and allows people to speak, no matter what they’re saying, or how painful it might be to hear. They allow the person to finish speaking without reacting, because a great listener listens with their heart, and not their ego.

Egotistical listeners will instantly try to defend themselves, without hearing the person out. If someone comes to them with a problem, they’ll react or jump in right away, because they’re more interested in speaking than listening. They’re too concerned with getting their point across to care what anyone is saying to them.

2. Be Thankful

An active listener will literally thank you for talking to them. They’ll thank you for sharing all the beautiful things you have to say to them. They’ll be grateful when you give them time to process and take in what they’ve said, because a real listener will want to fully understand before they respond.

When you react right away, you’re not fully listening.

When you’re talking to someone who isn’t an active listener, especially about something heated, or if you’re giving them constructive criticism, the egotistical listener will shut down. Their heart shuts off, and the ego kicks in because it wants to defend itself.

A listener appreciates how hard it was for the person to come and speak about what was on their mind. A real listener is gracious.

3. Understand It Comes From The Heart

A good listener lives from the heart. They acknowledge the need to talk, but do it with patience. Talking is something humans HAVE to do. We always feel like we need to speak and comment. We have to defend ourselves. We have to express how we feel and what we want.

The next time someone comes to you and says, “I really need you to listen to me,” take that as a sign that they’re not sure you have listened as well as they wanted you to in the past. Even if they talk for 10 or 15 minutes, it’s not a one-sided conversation at all. That’s your ego. Your ego says, “Oh, well if you just talk at me for 15 minutes, it’s a one-sided conversation.”

No, it’s actually not. Allowing somebody the time and the space to communicate to you is actually one of the healthiest things you can do with someone. It’s the best thing you can have in your relationship. It’s called communication. Communication is not spitting words out. Communication is the active art of listening with an open, loving heart.

So the next time someone comes to you and says “You don’t listen to me or I need you to listen to me”, take a deep breath and just listen. It’s 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, whatever it might take. When you actively listen you can watch somebody’s body language. You can watch their eyes light up, and you can see them melt into you. It’s a beautiful thing.

We’re taught to react and defend ourselves because that’s how our ego is trained. But listening is a beautiful thing. It’s amazing. You’ll have your time to speak. As a matter of fact, you’ll have plenty of time to speak because once you give somebody that space, they’ll give you that space back, and that’s what true communication is in a relationship.