How good listening connects in times of conflict
In part I. of “How good listening connects in times of conflict” we focus on what we mean by good listening; why it is important, especially during a conflict; and what barriers might get in the way of listening.
Did you ever play the blame game? I certainly did. We play it when we respond with something a person did in the past, we look to give somebody else some fault, we kick into the defensive and guilt mode. Getting out of it is hard, and finding a compromise after a good round of blaming, is usually a distant goal.
Good listening allows us to take a step back and make a choice to not engage in the blame game. Listening helps us to become aware of what is going on inside of us, and we can decide to park our own feelings and needs temporarily, in order to fully understand another person. Empathic listening provides us insights into how somebody else feels, thinks, and experiences a challenging situation, beyond the surface and our interpretation. It doesn't mean we have to agree, but it is more likely that we will be listened to and understood after our conversation partner feels fully heard. And when we see the perspective of each other it's more likely that we can find a compromise.
Interestingly, we not always see ourselves in need to work on our listening skills. How hard can it be? 😜Well, good listening is more than just hearing words. Good listening happens with our whole body, mind, and heart, and allows us to really connect and understand, even in times of conflict.