- As you read that title, what is your first response?
- What do you hear your mind say the second you read it?
- Yeah, sure you hear me!
- No you don’t! No one really listens anymore.
- I don’t really share, so how can you hear me.
Have you ever noticed how quickly you start to think about what you are going to say to someone who is talking to you? There you stand formulating in your mind what you can say back. What’s the perfect thing to respond? When you do this, are you truly listening, sincerely hearing the person you are with?
If you are a parent, do you really listen to your child, no matter the age, to HEAR what they are sharing? Not just the words they speak, but the body language, the message sent from their eyes, tone, word choice, etc…
What about how you listen to a colleague, spouse/partner, friend, family member, stranger..? Do you listen differently depending on who is talking?
Have you ever noticed how much attention you will give to someone “important and powerful” by societal and cultural standards – yet when your child, friend, family member or co-worker share you only half way tune in? I observe this all the time.
Do you think you fool anyone with regard to your HEARING and Listening skills? People, especially the young and wise elders, KNOW when you are really listening or not. Just watch a baby who has a present or distracted parent. Observe your friend when you really sit and pay attention to their story versus being fidgety to battle for conversation rights. There is an intuitive knowing when someone is truly LISTENING and HEARING YOU.
I have watched and observed this for years and years. Noticing within my own behavior the expansion of my ability to truly HEAR. As I have gotten older and wiser, my ability to HEAR and LISTEN has increased, enriching my life in so many ways.
When I worked in a nursing home, daycare, restaurant, sales rep., customer service specialist, ropes course facilitator and classroom teacher – HEARING was key. Active, Present Listening enriched, expanded and opened all of these professions into glorious opportunities for co-learning and co-growing through genuine heartfelt sharing.
We all crave a safe place to share. The desire to be truly heard is as powerful as the desire to be seen. In the chaos and busyness it is often a challenge to get people to drop into TRUE sharing, however, I have learned that BEing completely present, making eye contact with sincerity and truly Listening opens the flood gates for powerful connection.
I strongly believe that one of the most important gifts I can give myself and others is to HEAR. To Listen with intense complete presence, shutting off my mind chatter. I absolutely LOVE the connection experienced when I truly listen – WOW.., it is intensely powerful. Full of surprises and new understandings.
What if today, you challenged yourself to slow down and really HEAR? What might you learn about your partner/spouse, friend, child, co-worker, etc..? How might you feel as you allow this true connection? What might you learn about yourself and others? Below are a couple of articles that briefly discuss Listening, I thought you might enjoy them.
“What Great Listeners Actually Do” – Harvard Business Review
“The Science of Listening” – Huffpost
“I am a good listener, hearing with all of me in complete presence what other’s are sharing with me.”
Today’s “Walking Naked Truth” Practice:
- Today, slow down with awareness at least three times to truly LISTEN.
- Notice how it shifts the experience.
- Today, share at least three times with genuine honest sincerity – creating the energy of true connection.
- Notice how you feel when you share your truth in vulnerable open presence.