Hear the emotion behind the words

Did you know: It’s the higher frequencies of human speech that impart emotion. You can become more attuned to these frequencies by exercising the tiny muscles of your middle ear (the smallest in the body). Try singing, playing a wind instrument, or listening to certain types of high-frequency music (a Mozart symphony or violin concerto, for example, rather than low-frequency rock, pop, or hip-hop).

engaged listner

Become an engaged listener

People focus correctness and attention on what they should say, but effective communication is not always about talking, but on the concentration needed for listening. Listening well means not just understanding the words or the information being delivered, but also understanding the emotions directing what the speaker is saying.

There's a big difference between engaged listening and simply hearing. When you really listen;when you're engaged with what's being said, you'll hear subtle intonations in someone's voice that tells you how that person is feeling and the emotions they're trying to convey to you. When you're an engaged listener, not only will you better understand the other person, you'll also make them feel heard and understood, which will help build a stronger, deeper connection between you.

In communicating this way, you'll also experience a process that lowers stress and supports physical and emotional well-being. If the person you're talking to is calm, for example, listening in an engaged way will help calm you. Similarly, if the person is agitated, you can help calm them by listening in an attentive way and making that person feel understood.

If your goal is to understand and connect with the other person more fully, listening in an engaged way will often come naturally. If it doesn't, try the following tips. The more you practice them, the more natural, satisfying and rewarding your interactions with others will become.