Welcome to the 21 Self-Improvement Tips 4 Kids series! This is article number 11. You can be up-to-date on everything regarding my Self-Improvement Series by subscribing to our blog (with an adult’s permission.)
Today’s topic is how to understand and listen to others. The scriptures encourage us and exhort us: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” – James 1:19
This means that we must be willing to listen, wait for our turn to speak, and not get angry, (which is a topic for another time).
It is sad that, as Stephen R. Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” This means that most people just want to reply and give advice, when sometimes all we need is somebody to listen.
Speaking about Stephen R. Covey, I would like to share a few things I learned in his son’s book, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. First of all, I would like to share 5 Poor Listening Styles you must avoid at all costs:
- Spacing Out: Ignoring someone when they are talking to you because we are wandering and lost in our own thoughts.
- Pretend Listening: Not paying attention to the person but pretending to by making small comments like “yeah,” “uh-huh,” etc.
- Selective Listening: Only listening to a few words, but still ignoring their true meaning.
- Self-Centered Listening: It happens when we want to see everything from our point of view.
- Judging: This is one of the most common. It’s when we speak badly about the person talking to us, and we jump to conclusions about their situations.
Now that you know how to NOT understand, I can teach you how:
- Listen to the Words – What they say and how they put the words in order really makes a difference.
- Watch the Body Language – (How they move and gesture tells you a lot about what they are feeling.)
- Listen to the Tone and feeling reflected in the person’s voice.
- Walk in their Shoes – Try to look at things in their perspective and try to feel like they feel.
- Mirror the Message – Repeat the meaning using your own words with a warm and caring tone/voice.
When you listen, you can be understood, and others listen to you. Remember, through listening come many opportunities and advantages, like having more friends and being pleasant to be around.
How do you listen and understand others day by day?Be confident!