“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” -Stephen Covey
How many hurt feelings and fights have started with a misunderstanding or assumption? Too many. It happens so quickly and quietly that it’s hard to catch. So, what’s the cure? The fix? The answer? Good question.
Catching assumptions before they derail a conversation (or relationship) takes work. There are a lot of factors at play. Here is one to consider:
Listening skills. Let’s face it. Some of us are not very good at listening. We hear words, but don’t understand. Active listening is a full body workout! We are using our body posture, eye contact, and words to listen.
TRY THIS: Improve your listening skills by keeping an open and relaxed body posture. Face the person talking. Focus your eye contact on them. Reflect or summarize what you heard them say. If you missed or misunderstood something, they’ll tell you – (don’t get defensive!) you need them to, in order to truly understand.