Couple Skills and Resources
15 Steps to Increase Your Listening Skills
1. Turn off the TV.
2. Don’t problem solve until asked
3. Pay attention with your eyes (except for eye rolling).
4. Make supportive noises.
5. Sit in an open posture.
6. Nod your head.
7. Let your partner finish unless you are really confused.
8. Ask for clarification: “I want to understand what you mean by…”
9. Say: “Tell me more.”
10. Invite with “Could you give me an example what you mean when you say…?”
11. When your partner seems open to it, summarize what you have heard using the language and point of view of partner.
12. Never say, “I understand,” without describing what you understand.
13. Expect that there is an aspect you may have misunderstood, and ask, “Did I get that right?
14. Assume your partner is the expert on his or her own experience or feelings.
15. When appropriate hold your partner’s hand or touch the other as she shares with you.
16. Imagine if you were in your partner’s position how you would feel some of the same feelings and share that with your partner.
17. Don’t take the floor to speak about your problems until your partner feels heard and appreciates that you understand.
Click for a video on listening: