Recently I made a new friend, Sandra Koenig. We were struck by how easily each of us listened to the other, and the profoundness of what it’s like to be heard. Both of us are coaches and we realized that it’s very unusual to really be listened to.
When someone is really listening to you, there is nothing on their mind. Just an open heart, and no agenda. It’s a profound experience. In our discussions on the art of listening we found that most people are listening for what’s wrong, how they fit in, or how they are in agreement.
At work, what gets in the way of people being successful is that they don’t listen to each other. They are so afraid of doing something wrong that they end up listening for what is wrong. On the flip side, a person might be so attached to success that they are only listening for what they did right.
So much more is possible. When people listen well, they can learn something new and unexpected, and see what needs to be attended to.
While in conflict with my daughter the other day, I noticed that I was only listening from the idea that I was right. I never gave her the chance to share her point of view. When I dropped in to trying to understand and listen to her, I could feel the connection and finally see what she was seeing, and that her opinion was completely valid. I just hadn’t been willing to see it.
We have to understand that everyone sees the world differently and uniquely. When a person is doing something it’s for a good reason: it’s based on what they see. When we get curious and interested, and we listen, we see something new and can build a stronger connection.
Sandra Koenig and I believe so much in the profoundness of listening that we’ve created a workshop to bring listening into companies. It would make a major difference in people’s job satisfaction, innovation, and productivity. You can find the details in the link here. Please reach out to us if you’d like to organize a team building workshop at your company or organization.
Please reach out if you need any guidance around being present and listening more deeply in your relationships, I’d be delighted to speak with you.