The Speaker Listener Technique
In China, I was told, it takes just 5 minutes to collect a marriage certificate.
But in Singapore, the first step in registering for a marriage is to attend a 2-hour marriage preparation program (it is optional).
Out of curiosity, we went for the program during our registry.
In the program, I learnt a simple technique — the speaker-listener technique.
The rules are simple:
There are two roles, the listener and the speaker.
The speaker speaks first, and then the listener paraphrases what is heard.
After one round, both sides switch their roles.
Not long after our solemnization, we ran into a fierce argument.
Before I fell into angry silence, we tried this technique.
It was uncomfortable at the start.
It also took patience to listen first before each turn.
Gradually, we calmed down and resolved the argument in the next few minutes.
Listening is hard.
When the other person speaks, I am busy finding their flaws or framing my responses.
Using this technique, I cannot.
To paraphrase, I need to digest and understand the other side’s words.
It turns my mind — focuses on listening, and puts away judging and responding.
So, next time, try to listen and paraphrase first.
Thanks for reading Bicrement! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.