Listen to absorb information in the way a sponge absorbs liquids. Most of us are good listeners when the information we are receiving is non-threatening. Problems arise, though, if we feel attacked and stop really listening. Then instead we become oppositional, ignore, minimize, contradict or otherwise block information that is coming our way.
Do not listen like a hockey goalie blocking the other team from scoring. When you reject information sent your way, the person who spoke to you is likely to feel personally rejected and quite possibly also annoyed. Tension between you is likely to rise — goodbye harmony and love!
In sum, ineffective listening halts the flow of collaborative dialogue. Like a stick in a bicycle wheel, ineffective listening brings cooperative conversations to a halt. The conversation may continue in action, but they will feel like a tug of war or a debate instead of like two people co-creating mutual understanding.
Use these pro-skills to watch (and hear!) your relationship thrive.