Engaged Listening: Becoming an Engaged Listener

What’s Engaged Listening?

Engaged listening includes listening to the words being said, but also be aware of body language, tone of voice, and other non-verbal cues.

Effective communication is about more than just exchanging information. It’s about understanding the emotion and intentions behind the information.

When communicating with people, we often times focus on what we should say. However, effective communication is less about talking and more about listening. Listening well means not just understanding the words or the information being communicated, but also understanding the emotions the speaker is trying to convey.

There’s a big difference between engaged listening and simply hearing. When you’re an engaged listener, you will not only be better at understanding the other person, you’ll also make that person feel heard and understood, which helps build a stronger, deeper connection between you.

Do you want to become an engaged listener? Do you want to understand and connect with people when they’re talking to you?

Here are five (5) tips to help you out;

Tip 1: Set your focus fully on the speaker. Many of us are fond of always checking our phones when someone is speaking to us. You can’t listen in an engaged way if you’re constantly checking your phone or thinking about something else. Get rid of all distractions. You need to stay focused on the moment-to-moment experience in order to pick up the nonverbal cues in a conversation. If you’re finding it hard to concentrate on what the speaker is saying, try repeating his or her words over in your head; it’ll help to reinforce his or her message and help you stay focused.

Tip 2: Favour your right ear. It’s believed that the left side of the brain contains the primary processing centres for both speech comprehension and emotions and is connected to the right side of the body, hence, favouring your right ear can help you better detect not only the message, but also the emotion behind it. Strange, isn’t it?

Tip 3: Avoid interrupting or trying to redirect the conversation to yourself.

Don’t forget, listening is not the same as waiting for your turn to talk. For some of us, we are guilty of already forming what we’re to say next while the speaker is still talking to us. You can’t concentrate on what a speaker is saying if you have a ready thought or response in your mind. Doing this, we are only focused on what we want to say. Also, the speaker can read your facial expressions and know that your mind’s elsewhere.

Tips 4: Show your interest in what’s being said. While listening to a speaker, nod from time to time, smile at the speaker, keep an open and inviting posture to acknowledge him or her. This is one of the ways to improve communication and become an engaged listener.

Tip 5: Set aside judgment. Remember, when listening to a speaker, you don’t have to agree with what he or she is saying or their opinions. Having said that, you do need to set aside your judgment and withhold blame and criticism in order to fully understand them

Five Tips To Help You Calm Your worried Mind And Ease Anxiety

Ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, a lot of worries, doubts, and anxieties have crept into almost everyone’s minds. Some have lost their jobs and loved ones, some are struggling to cater for themselves and their families. Nobody expected this to happen but that’s life for us.

The sad truth is; worries, doubts, and anxieties are a normal part of life. It’s natural to worry about your jobs, unpaid bills, etc. But “normal” worry becomes excessive when it’s persistent and uncontrollable.

Constant worrying can take a toll on your emotional and physical health. Here are 5 tips that can help you calm your worried mind and ease anxiety;

Tip 1: Create a daily “worry” period

During this period, it will be hard and tough for you to be productive with your tasks and also in your daily activities especially when you give room for anxiety and also dwell on it. Rather than trying to stop or get rid of an anxious thought, give yourself permission to have it, but put off dwelling on it until later.

  • Create a “worry period.”: Assigned a set time and a particular place in your house for worrying. It might be anywhere, your bedroom, living room. During this “worry period”, feel free to worry about whatever it is on your mind early enough that it won’t make you anxious right before bedtime. The rest of the day, however, is a worry-free zone.

PS: This “worry period” shouldn’t exceed 20 minutes

  • Write down your worries: Anytime an anxious thought creeps into your head, write it down immediately and then go on about your day. There’s no need for you to think about it immediately as you already have a set time to do that; your “worry period”. Writing down your worries and anxieties is much harder work than simply thinking them, so your worries are more likely to lose their power.
  • Go over your “worry list” during the worry period: If you are bothered about your “worry list”, allow yourself to worry about it, but only for the amount of time you’ve specified for your worry period. And if your thoughts don’t seem important any more, simply cut your worry period short and enjoy the rest of your day.

Tip 2: Distinguish between solvable and unsolvable worries

Running over an issue in your head diverts you from your feelings and makes you feel like you’re getting something done. But worrying and problem solving are two different things.

No matter how much time you spend lingering over worst-case scenarios, you’re no more prepared to deal with them should they actually happen

Tip 3: Interrupt the worry cycle

You may feel like you’re going insane, or going to wear out under the heaviness of this anxiety. In any case, there are steps you can take presently to interrupt all those anxious thoughts and give yourself a time out from persistent worrying.

  • Try exercising: Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment because it releases endorphins which relieve tension and stress, boost energy, and enhance your sense of well-being. Even more importantly, by really focusing on how your body feels as you move, you can interrupt the constant flow of worries running through your head.
  • Try meditating: Meditation works by switching your focus from worrying about the future or dwelling on the past to what’s happening right now. By being fully engaged in the present moment, you can interrupt the endless loop of negative thoughts and worries.
  • Try deep breathing: When you worry, you become anxious and breathe faster, often leading to further anxiety. But by practicing deep breathing exercises, you can calm your mind and quiet negative thoughts.

Tip 4: Talk about your worries

Keeping worries to yourself only causes them to build up until they seem overwhelming. But saying them out loud can often help you to make sense of what you’re feeling and put things in perspective. If your fears are unwarranted, verbalizing them can expose them for what they are—needless worries. And if your fears are justified, sharing them with someone else can produce solutions that you may not have thought of alone.

So, build a strong support system and also know who to avoid when you’re feeling anxious

Tip 5: Practice mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness to stay focused on the present is a simple concept, but it takes time and regular practice to reap the benefits. At first, you’ll probably find that your mind keeps wandering back to your worries. Try not to get frustrated. Each time you draw your focus back to the present, you’re reinforcing a new mental habit that will help you break free of the negative worry cycle.

  • Acknowledge and observe your worries: Don’t try to ignore, fight, or control them like you usually would. Instead, simply observe them as if from an outsider’s perspective, without reacting or judging.
  • Let your worries go: Notice that when you don’t try to control the anxious thoughts that pop up, they soon pass, like clouds moving across the sky. It’s only when you engage your worries that you get stuck.
  • Stay focused on the present: Pay attention to the way your body feels, the rhythm of your breathing, your ever-changing emotions, and the thoughts that drift across your mind. If you find yourself getting stuck on a particular thought, bring your attention back to the present moment.

Things you might need a loan for in the Covid-19 era

There is one mistake you should not make in this period and that is doing nothing! There might be periods when you won’t be allowed to move around as much as you would have wanted but it is not an excuse to desist from making moves and taking action.Making your dreams come true might require financial investment you’re not able to afford at the moment, but instead of quitting altogether, why not seek extra help? You might ask what anyone could need a loan for at this time well, let us give you a few reasons for you to reason with:It is noteworthy that body fluids passed through coughing and sneezing can transmit the Covid-19 virus hence, face masks are necessary especially in this period when we cannot tell if the people we encounter when we are out, are infected.1. Accommodation/Rent: Cash flow may not be coming as fast as you would have hoped for at this time but the reality is that your rent does not respect this so, a no-collateral loan like Sharp Sharp by Credit Direct can handle that for you because to be safe, you will need shelter.2. Education: From paying for your online Master’s program to taking a course that will improve you or your business, you don’t have to wait for the ‘’perfect time’’ because it really might not come so a loan can save the day(or your future).3. Your side hustle: As a corner, you might find yourself with more time on your hands now due to the lockdown, explore that business idea, take that course, Empower The Corp (ETC) Loans by Credit Direct is just what you need right now.4. Health: The fact is that when there is life, there is hope. Doing nothing when your health is down shouldn’t be something you want to joke with so whether there is cash or not, your health matters. Especially for those with kids and elderly dependents.In the end, we all want peace of mind and it should not exist only when we have everything. Click here to find out more about loans from Credit Direct. Don’t forget to share this with someone.