As I have been pondering how to inspire more people through conscious leadership, I have been hearing a voice in my head and it is saying one word…
I teach listening as an art form.
The way someone is listened to can bring forth their best thinking. If you listen well, people find their own creative solutions to their problems--they naturally go deeper in their inquiry and see where they have limiting beliefs. If someone is listened to with generosity, it can unfurl their wisdom. If you listen for a person’s magnificence, they will show it to you!
In order to listen as an art form, you have to work your listening muscles in a new way. Here are some steps to begin:
HEAD - Listen to the content of what the person is saying. Be able to reflect back what you are hearing, not every word, but the main idea and the key details. When someone hears what they are saying repeated back to them, it clarifies their thinking and they relax because they feel heard.
HEART - Listen to what feeling is being experienced as they are talking about the content. Do you hear sadness, anger, fear, joy or sexual/creative feelings? Let them know what you are sensing as they are speaking. Ask if you are accurate and they will get more curious.
BODY - Listen for what they most want or care about. This may come in the form of a gut feeling or intuition. It requires listening underneath the words that are being spoken and sensing the deeper motivation for them to be sharing with you. Why are they talking about what they are talking about?
As you listen this way, it will require that you drop some old habits, like listening to fix their problems, or listening to see how it relates to you, or listening to be right, or listening for when it’s your turn to talk.
Instead of falling back into these old patterns, listen from curiosity and openness.
Here are some simple ways to practice listening more deeply in your day to day living, both to others and to yourself.
Before jumping out of bed in the morning, pause for a few minutes and listen to your own head, heart and body.
As you head into your next meeting, pause to get clear on what your intention is.
Before hanging up the phone, check to see if there is anything else that feels important to say.
Cheers to practicing a deeper way of listening, to ourselves and others!