Hi everyone, welcome to the Palacedaughter blog. Last week we shared tips to Empathic Listening which are allowing others to dominate in conversation, asking questions and reflecting after everything. We also addressed why listening matters. Today we shall share the concluding aspect of Empathic Listening which is how to avoid false assumptions in conversations and how to train yourself to listen better and the importance of interaction.


False assumptions

If we’re not careful, we’ll automatically make assumptions about the other individual and what they’re saying. We allow our own emotional biases to decide how and what we hear, even judging if it’s worthy of our attention. It’s surprisingly typical for us to define and judge not only what the other individual says, but also why they’re saying it even before they’ve finished.

This is compounded by the fact that the average individual speaks at about 140 words per minute, while most of us think of about 600 words per minute. Our minds try to read ahead and interpret information before we have heard it all.

We just do not take the time to really empathize. Try going into conversations with a sincere desire to understand not only the message but also the true feelings and the motives of the other individual, not the feelings and motives that our minds want to arbitrarily assign. Keep asking yourself the question, “why is he saying this; why does he feel this way?” When you’re speaking, try to state your position in various different ways to minimize false assumptions.


Lack of training

 Few of us were formally taught how to listen. It is little wonder listening is such a challenge for most of us. Try establishing and maintaining good eye contact – just do not go to a creepy extreme. It’s amazing how much more you are able to engage intellectually and emotionally with an individual just by maintaining strong eye contact. And remember, if you’re talking to a prospect, their buying inclination is going to start with the emotional feeling they develop toward you, much more than what they consider the quality of your service, tool, or product.

Learn how to be present with individuals, and give them your full, undivided attention. Ask yourself repeatedly, “why does this person feel that way?” Ask them questions. Do not try to multi-task, do not read e-mail or look at your computer screen; resist allowing yourself to be distracted.

Listening is work

And lastly, empathic listening is just plain hard work. When you are empathically listening, your respiration rate goes up and your heart starts to beat faster. If you’re not conditioned to listen effectively, go into training. Develop your proficiency and stamina to listen.

Go into conversations with a conscious determination to be empathic; to understand both the “what” and the “why” of the other individual. The results will be astounding. Relationships will be stronger, sales efforts are much more successful and life so much more rewarding. That’s my goal. That’s my commitment. Empathic listening will become my superpower this year!

 The Importance of Interaction


Though social interaction is complex, I trust that it’s vital to human health, both mentally and physically and listening helps.

A lot of individuals find it hard to open their hearts and share their feelings and issues. However, social interaction where individuals may talk out their issues and feel accepted and understood is really beneficial to mental health.

The Importance

A different way social interaction may help health is that it may challenge distortions that we frequently build through our belief systems and experiences. I’ve found that when I was unemployed and living on my own in a new place, I was on my own for a lot of the time and things that weren’t commonly significant took on much more importance and ideas/notions were distorted. When I came back to interacting with others at work, the things that caused annoyance or mild distress melted into insignificance.

A study found that rats living in groups lived 40% longer than those put up by themselves and likewise recovered more quickly from illness. This experiment has been extended to equating lonely and social humans and although the trial is still running, early readings show the lonely individuals don’t recover as quickly from illness, don’t sleep as well and have higher systolic blood pressure. The early trial conclusions state that social interaction helps individuals be healthier and live longer.

This has likewise been discovered in other studies, which discovered lonely individuals show a number of adverse cardiovascular changes compared to individuals with friends. They’ve faster heartbeats, higher blood pressure and poorer sleep. There’s also great evidence that social support has a favorable influence on a wide range of illnesses including heart condition, cancer, hypertension and respiratory disorders.

Social interaction is a complex process and I found it intriguing that humans respond more quickly in groups but that more complex acts are hindered. Individuals might damage their health if their main reference group exhibits dangerous conduct (For examples high-risk behaviors like drug-taking or stunts). Likewise, there are occasions where an individual has conflicting reference groups that strongly oppose one another. This may cause mental stress.

Likewise, some individuals like hermits and recluses may lead healthy lives and overcrowding may cause unhealthiness. Social interaction is good but nearly everybody values time on their own. I know that if I don’t get that time alone, my family’s welfare suffers! However, great social interaction is a key part of living well. Study after study lists good friendships, relationships, and health as the most crucial things to have in order to be happy and fulfilled.

Great support may help protect against the harmful effects of stress by helping individuals cope better. Social interaction and support have been found to help cope with major life alterations like emigration, moving house, redundancy, and bereavement.

The complex nature of social situations makes it hard to isolate social interaction as the only cause of improvements or protection of wellness. However, so many studies have determined that social interaction has a major role in improving health and the fact that all folk cultures value this interaction is substantial evidence of the power of social interaction.

 Wrapping Up

Among the biggest obstacles in interpersonal communication is our tendency to react autobiographically–meaning from our own reference system. We advise, probe, translate, and evaluate others’ messages based on our own experiences and motives.

In listening, an autobiographical reaction prevents us from clearing our minds enough to truly hear and feel what is being stated. Conversely, once we listen with the intent to comprehend (“empathically”), we’re able to gain insights into some other person’s thoughts and feelings more precisely. Empathic listening is both a mental attitude and skill.

The article was written by Funmilola Ipadeola


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