In this blog, I will share with a real gift which will enable you to have a different experience in one of the most important areas of life. I invite you to go out into the world and have fun and experiment with this gift I’m sharing with you. Be prepared for a different experience of conversations with much greater rewards for all parties. I’d be surprised if you didn’t find you’re able to create much greater impact in your world.
Listening is a subject close to my heart as a change-worker and as someone who likes to engage and relate to people in the best way. I have been a rubbish listener in the past but listening deeply is such a rewarding experience for everyone.
I had always considered myself to be a good listener. I was taught that you should allow people to finish speaking before responding. I had also managed to pick up that active listening thing, giving people the impression that you are actually listening to them. So I kept eye contact throughout conversations, I nodded, smiled and made sounds and gestures which attempted to portray I was interested and listening fully. Any of this sound familiar?
A few years ago, I got quite a shock when someone pointed out that they felt I wasn’t listening to them. I repeated back all they had said, which I was sure would show I was listening. It didn’t. The conversation went from bad to worse as the frustration grew. It took me quite a while to be able to listen in a meaningful way.
Not all kinds of listening are equal
I find it useful to consider that there are two types of listening. They may be more, but I’m going to say there are two as it both suits and it works for me and makes a massive difference for me on a daily basis.
An intellectual understanding
Listening for intellectual understanding typically means we are usually comparing what is being said with what we think we know, we’re usually listening to our own internal dialogue, making assumptions, making judgements and forming opinions.
In other words when you are listening in this way, your mind is not clear. You are torn between listening to the other person and your own internal dialogue and guess which one you often assume to being more important? We’ve all done it.
An embodied understanding
What the hell is listening for an embodied understanding? Sounds a bit airy-fairy I know, but stay with me and I shall reveal all. In a manner of speaking.
When you’re listening for an embodied understanding, you’re listening intently with nothing on your mind, you’re listening without judgement, you put aside what you think you understand. You’re allowing yourself to connect with the other person fully. The distinction here is, allowing what is being said to affect you, to move you in some way; this often leads to a great feeling of connection between both or all parties.
This is similar to the difference between sympathy and empathy. Often the people can mistake acting in a sympathetic way as being empathetic. Sympathy being the least useful of the two and can be quite damaging. But I’ll cover that in another blog.
A few tips
Don’t be tempted to block out or stop thoughts. Just don’t allow yourself to become engaged or involved with them. Remembering that your natural default state is one of having a quiet mind. So, just allow your thoughts to pass on through.
Just relax. When you relax and allow our mind to be still, you connect with your true self. When you are connected with your true self, you automatically become connected to others. When you are connected with others, you come from that place of genuine compassion. When you are coming from that place of genuine compassion, you allow the light of who you really are to shine brightly. Others just love being in your powerful light because it gives them permission to be themselves too. Give this simple gift to someone special today and notice how effortless it really is.
Everyone is special.
I’d really love to hear how this worked out for you. Please either contact me direct or post a message below.
All the best, take care.
Best wishes, Kevin