Applying these principles of self-expression as we listen to others means we would be able to “receiving emphatically.”
Listening with our “whole being.”
Give up our preconceptions about the people we’re hearing.
As we try to build empathy, be aware of communication patterns that get in its way, such as correcting, educating, advising or consoling people.
Don’t try for “intellectual understanding.”
Listen for what people feel and what they need.
“We can replace language that implies lack of choice with language that acknowledges choice.”and that is also, a choice.
Try to re-paraphrase what we think we’ve heard.
If we’re right, the other person will confirm our understanding.
And if we’re wrong, he or she can correct us. See, minimal miscommunication.
But, when someone stays silent, empathize.
Remember, listen “for the feelings and needs behind” the silence.
Sometimes that’s what people need most.