"People only listen when they feel listened to."
Reflective Listening is a tool that has each person summarize what they hear the other saying before they respond to them. A way to do that is to start each response with the word, "So..." and then to play back what you heard the person say.
This helps each person be able to hear both views, which often causes people to soften their position. Often people just need to feel heard and acknowledged, and it's easier to spot the flaws in our reasoning when we hear it played back without criticism.
Many fights occur because each person is being misunderstood or misunderstanding the other's views. Reflective listening helps to reduce that source of disagreement. It also helps you identify the areas where youre in agreement so the areas of disagreement are put in perspective and are diminished rather than magnified.
Reflecting back what we hear each other say gives each a chance to hear the different levels that are going on below the surface. By doing that, we're more able to bring those levels that are most important into the open where they can be more readily resolved. We're learning to look for ways to show the other that we are on their side.
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