“You don’t understand me.”
Have you ever felt this way? Misunderstood? It happens often in our places of work, in our relationships or at our homes where most of day to day interactions lack deeper sense of connection, understanding, emotional identification, compassion or feel.
In fact very few of us are confident that people they live with or work with can testify that they are good listeners- whether in routine conversations or in very tense situations. Instead of listening to what the other person has to say, we may find ourselves contemplating our next reply. As a result, the other person feels misunderstood and neglected. The hard truth is that few interactions qualify as perfectly empathetic. According to Dr. Bookbinder:
“Only 2% of interactions include acknowledgement of the other, the foundation of all human interactions.”
To understand the other person, you not only need to listen actively but also emphatically. Perfecting the art of emphatic listening is not easy. You may get sloppy if you don’t try hard or get derailed when tense situations show up. The question is how can we listen emphatically?