Closer Connection

Day 5 of 6 • This day’s reading


Are You Truly Listening?


Perhaps the biggest obstacle to effective communication is our inability to listen.

This session, we’ll learn a technique that can help anyone to learn how to listen . . . really listen.


Were you ever taught how to listen? Most of us weren’t. It’s said that most people listen not to understand, but to answer.


A well-stated problem is 90 percent solved. If we listen more and understand truly what’s wrong, the problem is almost solved.

We want to solve things quickly, so we rush toward an answer as soon as someone begins to give us information. But sometimes the answer is to listen . . . and understand.


Remember LURE:


  • Stay focused on your spouse.

  • Remove distractions (television, phone, etc.)

  • Don’t develop solutions.

  • Focus on emotions, importance, assumptions, and unclear thoughts.

  • Ask questions for clarity, to show interest, and to demonstrate concern.


  • Paraphrase your spouse’s comments.

  • Frequently check for understanding.

  • Ask short clarifying questions; clear up assumptions.

  • Allow your spouse to continue without interruption.


  • If your spouse doesn’t agree that you paraphrased their comments correctly, return to the Listen step.

  • If your spouse agrees with your paraphrase, move to the next step.


  • Experience a stress-free conversation.

  • You may now begin to resolve the issue, if necessary.

This is difficult to do every day, all of the time. But you don’t need to do that. LURE is best used when conversations are intense.

When stress is escalating, LURE:

  1. Slows things down.

  2. Allows your spouse to process through their filters and then verify they understand what you’re communicating.

Bottom Line

Most people do not listen to understand, but rather to answer.