Listening. No wonder it is promoted so much.
When it works well, it is almost a miracle.
When it goes poorly, it just adds to a pile of misery.
Most people know that listening is a key to effective communication.
So why don’t we all do it more often?
Because listening well is bloody hard work.
We have to manage our primitive reflexes to interrupt, justify, explain, and set the record straight. We want to stop them from expressing dumb, erroneous ideas and beliefs.
That is not easy or simple when we feel threatened, assaulted, dismissed, tired, preoccupied, or grossly misunderstood.
We all know that listening to prospects, downlines, uplines are important.
But the most important people to listen to are our family members.
Let’s focus on spouses listening to each other.
If you each listen well, you will build valuable trust in your relationship.
And trust is the foundation for just about all evolution and growth in marriage.
Without trust, you cannot depend on future possibilities.
Without trust, your future is chaotic and unpredictable.
Establishing trust and sustaining trust are simple. But not easy.
Listening can be used to strengthen trust every day in two key areas.Behavioral. Listen and do what you say you will do in a timely way. This builds trust with action.
1 Develop emotional and psychological trust when a disagreement or desire is expressed.
2 Emotional trust occurs by doing the following three steps.
Step one is listening with curiosity when your spouse is describing a problem they are having with you.
Being curious means treating them like your most valuable customer is having a problem with you, your product, or your service. Successful marketers will become genuinely curious and ask a lot of questions about the problem and avoid jumping in to explain, justify, or blame back.
Determined network marketers stay curious about the when, how often, how important, what it symbolizes, what they feel when it happens, what happens if not resolved, what happens if resolved, etc., etc.
The second is caring. Caring about the responses you get. Authentically caring. Some people can fake being curious, but it is much harder to fake sustained caring. Most folks have a built-in b.s. radar that detects fake caring.
Third step. Take action to move in the direction of solutions. If a problem is complex, it will usually take more than one attempt to resolve it. So, action steps without perfect resolution are just fine. Then evaluate to identify the next step(s).
Now in a disagreement with your spouse if you each take turns being curious, caring, and proposing relevant action steps you begin to form and strengthen a strong team.
When you listen with curiosity and caring you are demonstrating that you have the ability to manage your primitive self-interests and care about your partner first. You are practicing putting We over Me.
This builds trust.
Listening well to solve problems is a major endeavor.
But solving problems does not bring happiness. It brings relief. And that is different than happiness.
Problem-solving is looking backward to fix what has happened or is happening now.
Happiness comes from a different part of the brain. It is creative, inspirational, generative. It is developing unifying dreams supported by similar values and interests.
When you talk about dreams you are often in sensitive areas. This is why it is important to listen and apply the same three steps above.
1 Stay curious
2 Stay caring
3 Take action steps if appropriate.
Solving problems. Creating dreams. It all starts with listening to each other.
Peter Pearson, Ph.D. coach for the entrepreneur’s marriage. He’s been featured in most major broadcast and print media on helping couples build strong loving teams. He can be reached at [email protected].
P.s. Please practice this process often. Because under high pressure or stress we rarely rise to the level of our expectations. Rather we fall to the level of our dominant conditioning or experience.
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