#WFH: Are You Listening Reflectively?

Here are some signs you might not be listening reflectively:

• You discover yourself interrupting the other person.
• You feel like no one is paying attention to you.
• You find yourself name calling or engaged in self talk.
• You are using adjectives that are very unflattering.
• You are bringing up things from the past.
• You are bringing up issues that are not related.
• You are arguing.

If we are involved in a conversation where we are interrupting the other person or the other per-son is interrupting us, we are much more interested in making our point than listening. This is especially challenging online because there are fewer visual cues. Remember the purpose of reflective listening is to try to take the perspective of the other person. If we are arguing, we are more interested in being right and saving face, especially if there are other people around. When this happens, it is very unlike-ly we will be heard. If it gets to this point we want to step away and calm down.
Online we have to rely on our self-control to turn down those heated emotions. Try to end on a positive note. Take a breather and rethink your approach. Step away from the conversation. Try some-thing like, “I would like some time to think about this. Would you mind if we talk about this later?”

The point here is to get some distance and give yourself a chance to regroup.
The point of reflective listening is to let us identify our real goal, to get off the power trip and forget about how right we are, and to keep our conversa-tion focused on communicating and creating a relationship. Ask a lot of questions. Reflective listening is an active process and requires active listening. The sole purpose of reflective listening is so that we can respond and not react. If we reflect back to the other person an understanding that does not include controversy or criticism, the other person will not think we are an adversary. They are more likely to be open and willing to establishing a trusting relationship with us if we are listening. Online, relationships are very important.

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