When we are working in a group with an objective or challenge to be accomplished, there will be numerous ideas and suggestions. To keep the team in a cooperative mindset each person needs to feel like they are valued and heard. This principle applies to a family too. If the one taking the lead in the conversation doesn’t help each member of the family feel like they are heard, they may lose cooperation with the result. How can we accomplish this and come to a conclusion that everyone believes that they had a real part in reaching?
Listening is a cooperation skill. Listening at a higher level that just allowing others to speak is not easy in a world filled with so many distractions. Number one rule to remember about what others say: People do not always say what they mean. If you react to what they say, you may have made a mistake. How do we need to listen?
Here are a few steps about listening that will help us get the group cooperating.
- Clear your mind of anything other that what is said
- Don’t plan your response
- Don’t judge what you are hearing
- Listen for the emotional undercurrent
- Listen for confusion in the thought process
- Listen for pace, tone, and inflection
If you practice these listening skills, you will hear what is said. There is even more to listening, guiding and even correcting when required, but this is a good start. If we practice just these steps both of the participants will feel heard, understood and more cooperative.