A common reason that people see a psychotherapist or couples counselor is difficulties in communicating. The key to good communication is being a good listener. Here is my top ten list for being a good listener:
1. Stop what you are doing and be present.
2. Allow the other person to finish his or her thought without finishing it for him or her.
3. Avoid giving advice, unless it is specifically requested.
4. Let the other person know you have heard him or her by reflecting back what you have heard.
5. Do not interrupt.
6. Listen with your heart, not just your head.
7. Listen for your triggers and take a deep breath.
8. Look directly at the person speaking.
9. Keep your body language positive – avoid rolling your eyes, crossing your arms across your chest, etc.
10. Slow down and breathe!