Thanksgiving is approaching and I thought it would be a good time to remind our readers that ‘listening’ is a GREAT conflict resolution tool.

Extended time with family and friends can be rewarding and delightful and can also test our patience and tap into unresolved or brewing conflict.

If you are having difficulty with someone at your holiday gathering, “listening” to him/her can be a wonderful and disarming way to work through your time together.

Being understood is one of the most basicpsychological needs.

Think about it. Listening with interest and a true intent to understand where the other person (with whom you are usually in conflict) is coming from, could be a totally new and unexpected approach!

Here are some tips to improve your listening interaction:

  • Think of true listening as a one way street – it’s the other person’s turn.
  • Listen with the intent to understand NOT respond.
  • Listen without the need to problem solve.
  • Listen without the need to correct – that means you’re not listening.
  • Try to keep an open mind – it may help you hear something new or in a different way.
  • Try to keep your emotional reactions in check – this may be a HUGE challenge but totally worth the effort.
  • Understand that listening does NOT mean agreeing (this tip is REALLY REALLY important)

How surprised will the other person be with this new approach? Your engagement with him/her will be totally different.

And make your Thanksgiving time a whole lot more enjoyable.

Happy Turkey Day to all our readers.

Jeanette

P.S. And wouldn’t it be great if you both read this blog and spent more time listening … to each other?

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