No one likes conflict, and losing an argument can feel awful. The truth is that winning a conflict or argument usually signals a loss for the relationship, after all a relationship is about ‘us’ and not about ‘me’. It is only a win if the relationship wins, and this is why this week’s letter – L – stands for ‘listen’.
People fail to realise that others are not interested in what they have to say, but rather just want to be heard. The problem with this is that everyone does the talking and no one listens.
Think about the last disagreement you had with another person: How much time did you spend listening, and how much time did you spend thinking about what you were going to say next?
If your goal is to get the upper hand, then your relationship will suffer, but, if your goal is to have a fantastic relationship, then you must learn to listen.
There are two parts to listening, the first is hearing and the second is understanding
Whatever your partner is saying, put yourself in their shoes and see if you understand where they are coming from. People are much happier to compromise when they feel understood, but not when they feel bullied.
It is important to remember that people always feel 100% right from their own point of view, and when you listen you will see that with the (limited) information they have, that they are indeed right, in a manner of speaking.
You earn the right to disagree ONLY once you completely understand where your partner is coming from, but if what you have to say wonâ??t move the relationship forward, then keep your mouth shut!
You cannot make another person listen, but you can be a person who listens. It will bring a positive result, and next week I will tell you why.