15 Jul Do you want to become a good listener? Just take these three easy steps…
Have you ever interrupted your friends or colleagues in mid-conversation? Have you 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 a busy and noisy world and often don’t create space to listen at a deeper level. The faster our lives move, the less time we have to listen. But be warned – if we don’t listen, we are missing out on deeper connections in our lives.
Listening is simply a quietness within that lets us be open to hearing another.
So, what is good listening? And how can we get better at it?
• Good listening means offering our presence and attention to others. It is about allowing yourself the time and space to fully hear and absorb what others say.
• Good listening seeks not just the surface meaning but aims to understand where the other is “coming from” — what purpose or need is being communicated behind their words.
• Good listening allows others to feel heard and be seen — and that’s invaluable.
• Good listening involves hearing 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 so that others will feel more connected, trusted and valued by you:
1. Set the 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. 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 preoccupations, your own worries. Are you able to put those 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 your attention back to the person who is in front of you.
3. Be open to hearing 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 the willingness to understand the meaning behind their words. This is not about interrupting, correcting, agreeing or disagreeing, giving advice or trying to fix. This is about being comfortable with silence and letting another share their words and empty their heart.
How does that sound? Pretty simple, isn’t it? Try it and let me know how you get on.
When I was a young girl, I spent my school holidays with my grandma. I remember her asking me one day: “Who is the most important person in the whole world?” I answered: “You, Grandma!” And then I quickly added my mum, my dad and my sister!
My grandma smiled and nodded, and then replied: “The most important person is the whole world is the one who is in front of you at each moment.”
Her reply surprised me but, once again, I listened and benefited from her wisdom.
Here’s to good listening!
Photo by Christin Hume Unsplash.com
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