Every interaction you have causes you to pay attention.
Are you paying attention to the things that matter to the person talking to you?
And then what about you? How are you being present? How are you listening, ?
Words invoke many emotions and thoughts. They can move you to tears or move you to action. And if you feel or think any of this, then you will know that listening is powerful practice.
Even more powerful is holding space.
Holding space is a term that’s been used for many years in therapy but in this context I mean being fully present and putting your focus on the person in front of you or you. It’s recognising when your thoughts – your ego – is jumping in to make a judgement, an assumption or be ready to provide an answer. This is what I call Courageous Listening.
How do I know that courageous listening is powerful?
I’ve worked for 20 years in business, corporate and as a high level professional and emerged brands, people and talent through courageous listening. I’ve listened more than I spoke and delivered more than expected. It takes courage to enquire and understand. And trust. Trust in ourselves and from others to have the space and time to create meaningful change.
The world we operate in says “Just get it done. We don’t have time to spend on this. Don’t think, just do. I don’t have time for questions.”.
Yet you know that when you do slow down a little, make some time, grab a coffee, you hear the things that you missed OR the things that you really wished you’d said. And why is it the faster you work, the harder it feels to get where you want to be?
The faster you go, the harder you work and so the only time you do listen is when you stop.
Courageous listening is not about taking more of your precious time. It’s using your time more preciously.
It can help you:
- Feel confident in your ability to listen more consciously and purposefully
- Appreciate the question of enquiry
- Trust yourself in slowing down and not rushing an answer
- Start to see as well as hear, that comes with the power of listening
- Recognise when you want to respond and interrupt
- Explore the possibilities that arise when listening
Get in touch if you’d like to know more.
Photo: Lee Campbell, Unsplash