Active listening is a skill that one possesses and has developed a specific communication that allows one to fully hear what another person is trying to say. For a couple to achieve a long term relationship, it is vital that they communicate and listen in a meaningful way.
Allow time for the other person to speak
By letting the other person speak, this takes effort at your end to refrain yourself from doing these actions: arguing your case while the other person is stating his/her position, resist the urge to interrupt and cut off the other person speaking, and when you control yourself on these, you will be talking less, but you allow yourself to listen well on the other person’s explanation and, therefore, provide both a communication and listening avenue to you and the other person.
Allow yourself to be in the other person’s shoes
In a dialogue conversation, to be an active listener is to see yourself in the other person’s shoes, putting more importance on the other person’s emotional needs and, in this way, you will have the opportunity to understand the other person’s perspective.
Avoid making final judgments
Avoid the negative thought of jumping to conclusions about the other person, especially when you both are in the middle of a dialogue, because this indicates that you have already entertained in your mind a pre-existing belief about the other person, which can block your skill of being an active listener, therefore, focus more on how to resolve your relationship issues in a positive way.
Take time to inquire
During the process of communication and listening to each other, when the other person has finished his/her position, it’s time to ask questions for clarification purposes, but don’t set the tone of asking questions like you are making accusations, and when the other person answers your questions, listen well to determine the truth of his/her statements.
Part of making clear with issues that are in the process of being resolved through a dialogue is to paraphrase what the other person says, not to be rude about it but to confirm whether you heard all of the other person’s statements right; doing this makes you to communicate back the points he/she has made objectively and the exchange of conversation that comes with this can help you continue to be an active listener. To become an effective communicator, you just have to learn to listen just as much as you need to learn to speak, so that whether you are in a one-on-one conversation or in a group meeting, focusing on what others are saying allows you to put yourself in a more effective position, because when you listen correctly, you also learn more.