Olive and I have been through Beginner dog training. Note the graduation cap in the photo (no small feat to get this image!)
I'd say that her ability to listen to my requests is an ongoing challenge and open to interpretation from her perspective, I'm sure.
Being a good communicator is more about how you listen than what you say.
When you truly listen to others and they believe you understood them, well, it is a powerful experience.
There are 3 levels of listening that I'd like to share with you.
Level 1: It is the "ME" level.
Level 2: It is the "WE" level.
Level 3: It is the "YOU" level.
For many of us, staying at Level 3 listening, the YOU level, takes practice. Perhaps we have some poor listening skills, like Sheldon, to break.
Here are some tips to help you listen at a level 3 and focus on the other person:
Consider practicing Level 3 listening with someone you trust and respect. Find a quiet and distraction-free place to talk. Ask them to share what's on their mind. When the other person had their chance to share, ask if you can have a turn to offer your perspective and use "I" statements to keep the walls of defensiveness down and to make it easier for the other person to practice level 3 listening with you.