Free Marriage Counseling Tip: Improve Your Listening Skills, Improve the Health of Your Relationship

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Free online marriage counseling: Improve your listening skills and in doing so make your relationship healthier

Healthy relationships depend on healthy communication. Being an expert 'listener' is the most important of all communication skills and for many individuals the most difficult to do.

Often when conversations get stuck, it's because both participants are paying more attention to what they are saying than what the other person is saying. Messages that are sent out, but never heard can certainly not be understood. Simply acknowledging the point your partner is making lets him or her know that you are listening. When you do this, you increase the likelihood that when it is your turn to 'talk,' your partner will in-turn listened to you.

You may want to print this exercise for ease of use. Click the Print Friendly button above. From there you can also format this exercise into a PDF file or email it to a friend. Note: Printing from a computer works best.

Learning to listen

Take turns speaking; sending messages to each other.

When you are the 'listener,' write down what you think your partner said. Then share it with him or her to assess its accuracy. 

If you are the 'listener,' you might want to use the phrase, “What you are telling me is...” or “So, you’re saying …” Record your results below.

If you are the 'speaker,' and you feel your partner doesn't get your point, calmly repeat it, adding some clarification.

With each attempt to 'listen' and to 'summarize the point' the speaker is making, you will be increasing your listening skills.

For the next week, both of you should take turns being the listener and the speaker. By the end of the week, your skill at listening to what your partner says should improve.

Written work for the listener 

Day 1


What was the point your partner said, that you acknowledged and thereby proved you were listening?

 


What was your partner's reaction to your proof that you heard what he or she said?

 


 

Day 2


What was the point your partner said, that you acknowledged and thereby proved you were listening?

 


What was your partner's reaction to your proof that you heard what he or she said?

 


 

Day 3

What was the point your partner said, that you acknowledged and thereby proved you were listening?

 


What was your partner's reaction to your proof that you heard what he or she said?

 


 

Day 4


What was the point your partner said, that you acknowledged and thereby proved you were listening?

 


What was your partner's reaction to your proof that you heard what he or she said?

 


 

Day 5


What was the point your partner said, that you acknowledged and thereby proved you were listening?

 


What was your partner's reaction to your proof that you heard what he or she said?

 


 

Day 6

What was the point your partner said, that you acknowledged and thereby proved you were listening?

 


What was your partner's reaction to your proof that you heard what he or she said?

 


 

Day 7


What was the point your partner said, that you acknowledged and thereby proved you were listening?

 


What was your partner's reaction to your proof that you heard what he or she said?