Develop your listening skills and become a deeper, more impactful listener with these short insights.
- Many times, people just want your ear, not your voice. We are often so quick to want to give people our advice that we seldom truly listen. I used to think that my advice is what people always wanted, so I made sure I gave it to them. Upon deeper reflection and inquiry, I started to realize that this just wasn’t true. The roadblock with thinking that this is true is two fold; we get caught up with formulating our advice that we actually stop listening, and, feeling heard is what people want most of the time, wise advice is just a bonus. Deep listening, on its’ own has the ability to create a transformational experience within another, words aren’t a necessity for this to happen. Unfortunately, deep listening seems to be a rarity these days, let’s change that.
- The next time someone confides in you, play a game with yourself. See if you can get through the conversation without giving advice. If this is something you typically don’t do, be prepared for some shocking results.
- Want to wow someone? Listen, don’t judge, be understanding, be compassionate, and instead of giving advice; ask questions that point them back to their innate wisdom.
- The pause in a conversation is not a time to jump in, it is a space created for conscious reflection and an opportunity for new thought to come through into expression. Are you allowing time for them to pause and reflect before jumping in? Guilty as charged. I used to be terrible at this, waiting for that momentary pause so I can jump in to express my opinion or give my advice. After learning the significance of the pause, and consciously using it as a space for reflection instead of an opportunity to jump in, I noticed the other person would generally relax into that space and speak on thoughts that I generally would have robbed them from by jumping in.
- Understanding what someone is saying is incomplete if you don’t hear the meaning behind their words. Words in and of themselves have no meaning without context. If we attach our own meaning to their words instead of listening for their meaning, we haven’t heard them. Many of us hang on to words, I notice I tend to do this more often than I’d like. But words can mean so many different things. Listen for the words within the context they are being spoken and the emotional background they are given birth from. We are guaranteed to hear something different if we do.
- A deep listener will explore beyond the obvious, and beyond understanding, to find meaning.
- Fun Fact: We can listen at 400 words per minute yet only speak at 125-175 words per minute. Because of the gap between the rate at which we can listen and speak, it is inevitable that your mind will wander at times while listening to another. The difference maker is, how quickly you can catch your mind wandering and bring it back to the present moment.
- When people are speaking, let them speak. If they appear to be struggling to find a word or put together their next thought, give them space. Don’t attempt to finish what you didn’t give them the chance to.