15 Jul Are you a good listener? The three steps to become an expert!
Do you consider yourself to be a good listener? Perhaps, you have interrupted your friends or colleagues in mid conversation? Perhaps, you have noticed how easy it is to drift away from listening to someone and instead focus on your own thoughts, your own problems?
Well… you are not alone. We live in busy times and often don’t create space to listen at the deeper level. The faster our lives move, the less time we have to listen. But – be warned! We are missing on something really important – deep connections with other people!
So, what is good listening? And how can we be better at it?
Good listening means offering our presence and attention to others. It is about allowing yourself the time and space to hear and absorb what others say. Deep listening seeks not just the surface meaning but aims to understand where the other is “coming from”— what purpose or need is communicated behind their words. Listening allows others to feel heard and be seen.
Deep listening involves listening from a deep, receptive, and caring place. It is generous, empathic, respectful, supportive, healing, trusting and transformative in itself. Trust in this context does not imply agreeing, but understanding that whatever others say, comes from something true in their experience.
Here are three simple steps you can take today to boost your listening and create connection, trust and value:
1. Make it your intention to be present and to listen. This is about making space and time. This is about making a commitment to saying less and listening more. It may sound simple, but it is not! In fact, next time you have an opportunity to listen, try and say as little as you possibly can and see what happens!
2. Notice what is going on for you. This step is about checking in with yourself and noticing your own preoccupation with work, new projects, your own worry. Are you able to put it to one side? It is also about understanding that your attention will drift away and that’s completely natural, but what counts is your ability to bring yourself back to the conversation.
3. Open yourself to hear the person in front of you. This is about offering your full attention and care. It is about being really curious about what the other person is sharing. And about willingness to understand the meaning behind words. This is not about sharing your own story, agreeing or disagreeing, giving advice, correcting and trying to fix or remedy. This is about being comfortable with silence and letting another empty their words and heart.
How does it sound? It sounds pretty simple, isn’t it? Try it and I’d love to hear how it went.
One last thought or rather memory… When I was a young girl, I spend my school holidays with my grandma. I remember her asking me once: who is the most important person in the whole world? I would say – you Grandma! And then, I would quickly add: my mum, my dad and my sister! My grandma would smile and nod… and then reply… the most important person in the whole world is the one who is in front of you at each specific moment. Wow! Her reply surprised me but once again… she was so right…
Photo by Christin Hume Unsplash.com
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