You’re Still Not Listening

It was all going so well. My partner was talking to me, I was listening, or so I thought, and then she gave me that look and said, “You’re not listening”.

On reflection, she had a point. Whilst she was talking, my thoughts were everywhere, the ‘mad’ driver on my way home, what are we having for dinner, and even dreaming about our holiday in two weeks time. So maybe I wasn’t listening. Next time, I said to myself, I will do better.

I did not have to wait too long. A couple of days later, she started talking to me again. This time I was prepared; I was going to really listen. And I did. If she asked me, I would be able to tell her exactly what she had said, word for word. “You’re not listening!” “Well let me tell you I was listening”, I said defensively. I proceeded to repeat, word for word, what she had just shared. Smiling quietly to myself I waited for her response.

“You’re still not listening”. Before I could say, but, but, what, she had gone.

What is going on?

I regard my partner as bright, intelligent and a good communicator, so for her to tell me I was STILL not listening, in spite of the fact that I could tell her exactly what she had said, maybe there is something else I am missing.

So I looked up the difference between hearing and listening, as after all I was hearing perfectly well. I was amazed at the difference.

Hearing is passive; we don’t have to do anything. Unless we are audibly impaired, we can all hear. In a noisy crowded room, deep in conversation with someone, if our name is called out, we will hear it, whereas our conversation partner is unlikely to do so. We also notice our favourite song being played, even though we are in conversation with another. They say hearing is one of the reasons we sleep so badly in unusual places, on an aeroplane, or in a new bedroom.

Listening on the other hand, is active; we have to intend to listen. For example, I am writing this in a busy coffee shop, there is music playing, the barista is serving customers, there are a number of conversations taking place at the tables around me, and there are people talking, whilst walking in and out. If I focus on what I am writing I do not hear anything. If I stop for a moment and tune into one of the conversations, I can hear them clearly, yet my concentration on my writing suffers. If I tune into the music I stop listening to the conversations.

What I notice when I now deeply listen to the music playing, to the exclusion of all other noises, it feels richer, deeper, more meaningful. I notice that I am fully present with the music and when the song has finished, I feel really connected with the artist, and feel moved by the song. Maybe I have not really listened to music like this before.

Maybe I have not listened to my partner, as she has been telling me, maybe all I have been doing is hearing, and not very well at that either. What about my work colleagues!

The next time I get to speak to my partner, things really will be different.

A day or so later, I got my chance.

When she started talking, I put my mobile in my pocket; I turned and faced here, leaned forward and looked into her eyes, and this time listened. She talked and as well as hearing the words, I noticed the tone of her voice, the emotion in the words, the pauses, her facial expression, the way she was breathing, and the movement of her hands. I also noticed what I was feeling in my body, the sensations, the tensions, what I was picking up physiologically. I felt I was connecting with her for the first time.

I did not interrupt; I remained silent, yet all the time remaining present, with my eyes on her. Even when she stopped talking and looked away, when she returned from thinking and looked at me, she realised I was still looking at her, still paying attention.

I noticed that the more I gave her my full attention, the more she relaxed, her breathing slowed, she became calmer, she spoke more fluently. More importantly, she started sharing what really mattered to her, words that I felt came from a far deeper place. When she had been quiet for a while I asked her, “What more?” and she continued to open up, revealing more, going even deeper.

When she had properly finished, she smiled, and warmly said, “Thank you for listening”.

So many things will change for you and your conversation partner, be that at home or in the workplace, when you move from hearing to listening?

How differently you will see and hear each other?

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Why is your mobile out in any conversation?

On my way to lunch with a colleague he explained that the other person joining us might not be able to make it, as she was having challenges with one of her clients.

On arrival at the table my colleague took his mobile out and explained that he wished to have it on the table because his colleague had said she would call him if she were not going to able to be with us.

I said thank you and said that this behaviour was both respectful and unusual. Respectful in that he explained to me why it was on the table, and unusual as it is typically assumed that it is OK to not only have it on the table but to be looking at it and even receiving/ replying to messages and calls.

After about ten minutes, his colleague arrived and she firstly apologised for being late and secondly, she too asked it would be OK to have her mobile on the table as her client was at a conference and she was expecting further questions. Again I said thank you and said the same things as I had said previously to her colleague. When I looked at her colleague he had put his mobile away.

I noticed this and thanked him for doing so.

In another organisation, the CEO has taken it upon herself to visibly turn her mobile off and put it away whenever she is in conversation with any of her people. Without saying anything about what she is doing, she has noticed that little by little, more and more people are doing exactly the same.

How do you feel when you are in full flow and your colleague’s mobile rings and they simply answer it, sometimes mouthing, “sorry” and nodding at you?

What about when you are listening, looking at the speaker and paying attention, and your mobile flashes a message. Do you a) ignore it, b) apologise for it being on the table, turn it off and put it away, or c) pick it up, read it, and then reply to the message, at the same time smiling at the speaker, saying, “I am still listening, carry on”, and then looking back at the message you are typing?

The reality is that when you see it written down like I have done, your first thoughts maybe that you don’t do this…..and are therefore surprised that your colleagues tell you that you do, a lot!

When we consider this fully, both the speaker and the listener agree, it is disrespectful and simply rude. So why do we put up with it?

What to do?

  1. Make an agreement not to have mobiles turned on or on the table, unless there is a very good reason, which in my opinion is very rare….I grew up in the days before mobiles!
  2. Agree that the speaker respects the listener’s attention, and they will keep to the point and be succinct. In response, the listener will give the speaker their full attention, will maintain eye contact, will not interrupt, and will let them go silent, to enable further, deeper thinking to emerge.
  3. That the agreement is reciprocal, you get to switch roles and the same rules apply.

Exercise

Try the above with a colleague or your partner, and set a time, 5 or 10 minutes, where one can speak, uninterrupted, even if the speaker goes silent, in fact, even if the speaker is silent for the whole time. Knowing that you are being witnessed whilst you are thinking can be quite profound. The only support that the listener can offer, is when the speaker goes quiet for time, to ask, “What more?”

By the way, at the beginning the set time will seem a long time….until you finish and it will then appear to have been very short.

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Reflections from The Listener

Do you think Mo Farah is hurting during the last 300 metres of any race he is in? Do you think the other runners are also hurting? Yet he wins more races.

Mo came up in conversation with my good friend, Guy Ellis http://www.courageoushr.com recently, as a metaphor for much of what we do in life.

It got me thinking and wondering.

Mo did not just wake up that morning and decide to take place in a serious race and expect to not just compete but to win it as well.

This is the culmination of everything he has done in his life, including his physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects. It also takes time, lots of time, his daily habits, getting up on those days when he does not feel like it, continuing on those days when he fails, pushing through the pain on those days when he falls, and breathing in the joy on those days when everything just flows.

It reminds me of the plumber who is asked to fix a block in a tank, and he spends one minute looking and thinking, then hits the tank once with his hammer, and the block is cleared. He charges £100. On questioned about why one hit of his hammer costs £100 he replies, that it costs £1 to make the hit, and £99 to know exactly where to make the hit.

For me as The Listener, this applies to me too.

When I ask a Cashier or the Barista, “How are you today?” One shares with me that she is not great, her boyfriend is making her life difficult since they broke up and how the Police are now involved. The other smiles warmly, (it is as though he has asked the question many times that day and most have not answered, and I am the first to ask him how he is), chats to me about his day and then tells me that my coffee is, “On the house”.

What is going on?

It can’t be just my words, although they help, of course, but it is my intention to want to know, the openness of my posture, the honesty in my voice, the curiosity of the tone, and so much more that they feel it and deep down notice it, and that all makes the words sound and feel different to them in that moment.

It is not me doing listening it is me being a listener.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  Chinese philosopher Laozi c604 BC

How will you begin your listening journey?

What can you do more of today….be curious, be attentive, be present?

Colin is also known as ‘The Listener’, a listening skills specialist and the ‘go-to’ person for individuals, teams and organisations, who want to be heard, think smarter, and transform their business and personal relationships through active listening. Contact him at colin.smith@dexteritysolutions.co.uk or find out more at www.dexteritysolutions.co.uk

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No Saber-toothed tigers around here!

Imagine this.

It is 2.34am and you are asleep, when you are woken up by your mobile ringing, it is your daughter. She is calling you from where she works as a Children’s Nurse in Accident & Emergency. You answer. She is breathless, in a panic, and crying, and is repeatedly shouting, “I don’t know what to do!” She tells you that a young child has just died and she has to go back in and sit with the parents.

What would you say or do?

How about simply listening. Listening. Not trying to fix her problem, not trying to take away her pain, just allowing her to be. Holding the space for her to let it all out.

The result.

After about 6 or 7 minutes, she took a deep breath and said, “I am fine now, thank you. I know what I need to do”. She went off to see the parents…I took an hour or more to get back to sleep.

What we are talking about here is the Master skill of communications – Listening,

Remember the time when you were speaking to a colleague. They were looking at you, nodding in response, yet you knew they were not listening. Turning that around, remember the time when your partner or child was speaking to you. You were looking right at them, nodding, yet you know you were not listening. We are all guilty. We have learned how to fake paying attention, fake being present, fake listening. Yet both sides know we are faking it. We are only hearing them speak.

Think about the last time you were in a team meeting or even the last Board meeting. How long was it before you said anything? Before everyone had a chance to speak again, did you get the opportunity to speak, even to just say a few words? Did you get the chance to share your thoughts? Was there so much interrupting going on it left you wondering if you could be bothered to speak? Did they allow you to sit in your silence, waiting curiously for what you were about to say? Could you feel them actively listening, safe in the knowledge that you would not be interrupted? How might that feel like?

We actually know how to actively listen; yet nowadays we do not feel it to be important enough to do so.

As a species we since man first arrived on this earth we have learned how to actively listen. Without this skill, our survival would have been impacted. Being conscious of all the sounds around us meant that we would be aware, immediately, of anything that could kill us so we could take action.

In addition, we needed to fit into to the tribe, as being excluded could be catastrophic to our seeing another day.

Nowadays, whilst we still seek to fit in, we have no need to worry about the infamous ‘human eating Saber-toothed tigers’. However, we do need to compete head-on in the dog-eat-dog of the business world. In fast paced meetings, every pause we make to take a breath or to think creatively is taken as an opportunity for someone else to speak and to make their point. In many cases, before we even finish our sentence, someone has interrupted our train of thought, offering their idea of what we were about to say or something completely different.

At its simplest level active listening requires us to pay full attention to the speaker. We need to look into their eyes with curiosity and interest. And, to remain silent when they are thinking and not interrupt when they do speak. Listening is a skill that can be learned

Listening increases the quality and depth of your relationships, develops a higher level of trust between the two of you, and enables the speaker to feel heard and to think better

As I delve deeper into the listening and thinking space I realise how much I too have been missing from my conversations.

How about you?

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Taking ownership for our actions and dealing with them

This is a great learning post for me to write.

It is sometimes not what we do, it is how we respond to what we do. This, for me, is one of those moments

I had arranged to meet a good friend in a local coffee shop, Workhouse Coffee in King Street, Reading, one that is specifically dog friendly. I arrived earlier and ordered my coffee.

“£2.90 please”, said the Barista.

I offered her my card.

“Sorry, we have a minimum spend of £5”.

“Oh”, I said, and gave her one of my ‘dark’ looks, (anyone who knows me well will understand, and I’m embarrassed to say, “It’s not nice”).

“What am I to do then?”, I asked.

“Well you could buy a pastry, or go across the road to the cash point.”

In spite of me having cash in my pocket, and knowing that in the grand scheme of things walking across to the cash point would have not been a big deal. Not me, I just stood holding out my card, still looking ‘that look’, stupidly expecting her to suddenly change her mind and accept it.

I turned and left the coffee shop. Her colleague, who was in the middle of making my coffee, offered me, “Have a good day”. “Whatever”, I thought.

I walked outside and thought, now what do I do? Right, got it, sorted, I’ll send a message to my friend, to say we need to meet somewhere else. He was nearby so messaged to say he would see me in a minute, insisting that we, or rather you, need to go back. In my mind there was no way I was going back, but deep in my heart I knew he was right, I needed to go back.

So he arrived, I sort of smiled about it and we went back in.

“I have solved it”, I said, meekly and desperately trying to contain my embarrassment, “I have found someone else”, a half hearted attempt to retain my ego, and judging by the look on the Barista’s face, failing miserably.

We took our coffees and chatted, not mentioning the episode.

I am not sure about you, but my mind works overtime on my behalf, helping me out, giving me answers, solving my problems, and giving me nudges and sometimes sharp kicks that something needs to be done, and done now. And so it turned out on this day too.

As we were finishing off, I knew what I needed to do.

I went to the counter, looked at the Barista, and asked, “Could I have a word”.

She replied, “You want a quid?” (Just when I thought it could not get any worse!)

“No”, I said politely, “I would like word with you please”.

“OK”.

“When I was first in here, I was extremely rude, and for that I am very sorry”.

“I appreciate that the rules on minimum spend is not your decision and I should have respected that. Nothing you said or did was rude, aggressive or wrong, you were simply explaining to me your position”.

“I take ownership for my words and actions, and once again, I am sorry”.

“Oh”, she said, “Thank you. That means a lot”.

She was very gracious and generous in her response.

On leaving I said that I would be back, after all there was so many good things about the place, The coffee is great, the staff and the environment is welcoming and they have an amazing selection of pastries.

On reflection, it was important for me to get off my high horse, as my Mum would say, it was good for me to be humble, it was vital for me to have owned my actions and even more so to have genuinely offered my apologies.

Thank you Alex Pidgley for helping me to learn a lesson.

Colin Smith, more often known as The Listener. Helping individuals to feel heard, think better and to learn how to listen. https://dexteritysolutions.co.uk

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When the System Lets Us Down

Nobody likes to get let down by the system, especially so my daughter who is doing what she loves, being a Children’s Nurse, working in Paediatric A&E.

It is a special relationship we have, as we get to engage most days. During these times she often shares what life is like during one of her twelve hours shifts. She may have the odd quiet day, but mainly her days are full on, and I mean full on.

She shares some of the highs and lows, the excitement, the challenges, and of course those sad moments. We have a relationship where she can share whatever she likes, however dark or difficult, which includes some choice language at times. Even more so during my recent chat with her, where the system lets her down, as you will read below.

A snapshot of a typical 6 minutes on a shift

As she is primarily ‘in charge’ of the Children’s A&E department, she is juggling priorities all the time, (there is no point in her writing them down, as they will have changed before she has finished writing), triaging the children that present to the department, deciding if their condition is an emergency and needs to be seen by a Doctor to start immediate treatment or if they can wait in time order to be seen, just been informed that there is a sick child being brought in by Ambulance and due here in five minutes, (note to self, is there a bed available in the Resus area?), what about the child that has been here over three hours, if they require further investigations, then they may breach (means going over a four hour limit and the Trust may get fined), need to call the Bed Manager to inform them there could be a potential breach, where is the Doctor I asked for to about ten minutes ago, a parent is getting cross at me, questioning me as to when their child will be seen by a Doctor as she has been waiting for nearly an hour , offer apologies and explain that the Doctors and Nurses are working as fast as they can and her child will be seen soon, this prompts another child’s parent to come up to the desk and ask the very same question, my Nursing colleague who happens to be a new Nurse, (joined the department recently, having just qualified), needs me to do a minor procedure, (which she is not yet trained or qualified to do), goodness the Ambulance will be here in one minute, I have to document all that is happening, each call, each interaction, each conversation whoever they are from, have now been asked by a different Doctor to do something that I do not feel is right for a child, (it is right for an adult), and he is more senior than me, gulp, but I have to tell him, “I do not feel what you are suggesting for the child is correct”, does not go down well, but he understands, although he was arguing with me loudly and in a place where many people could hear, I have to run, the child has arrived in Resus, oh my, this is a really poorly child, she had drowned in a swimming pool, they did mouth to mouth at the pool and in the Ambulance on the way to A&E, she looks lifeless, but we have to try and save her life, the child has been stabilised and transferred to a Specialist Hospital, quick tidy up and restock of equipment that has been used, back in the Department, triaging a new patient, dealing with an upset parent, trying to convince the Doctor they are needed and needed now, and maybe, just maybe, if lucky, a chance for a drink and maybe to use the bathroom.

The Highs and Lows

There are times when she has experienced a child who passes away on the shift, (which is understandably hard on everyone, Nurse and Doctors included, who have been desperately trying to save that life for some time), followed by a set of procedures that need to be carried out, alongside being compassionately there for the parents and family members, who need her support.

All of this goes on in a small, airless, windowless area, a large waiting room, a few small assessment/treatment rooms and a small open central nursing station where the computers/telephones are located, where parents can come up to and ask questions. The noise when it is busy is constant, frantic, dramatic, never ending. So stepping out into the fresh air and almost silence is truly like a breath of fresh air.

Reflection

Most days the Nurses get used to it, for many, the drive or ride home has the events of the shift laying on their minds, did I remember to document that incident, did I speak to the parent correctly, what happened to that child we sent off in the Ambulance to the Specialist Hospital, what about the family of the child who passed away?

Some days she just needs to talk, needs to let it out, some times just to be in the silence and to know that her unspoken words are being heard.

Don’t get me wrong, she is so passionate about her job, loves helping the children and their families, making a difference, and could not see herself doing anything else.

Being let down

Sadly, as happened yesterday, the system that she works in, lets her and many of her fellow Nurses down big time. A decision was made, actioned immediately and without consultation, which undermines the more senior Nurses and sees them losing some of their potential income. My daughter is one of those impacted and it was tough for me to hear about this sudden change, especially after a day in which she and her colleagues had saved lives, made a difference and put in their whole hearts and souls.

This is what happens when the system focuses on the head and follows the money, rather than considering the heart and doing what is right for our Nurses and for the patients that they care for each and every day.

Colin Smith, more often known as The Listener. Helping individuals to feel heard, think better and to learn how to listen. https://dexteritysolutions.co.uk

 

 

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Feedback is Good, Appreciation is Better

How many times do we get feedback when we don’t want it and don’t receive appreciation when we crave it?

There is a subtle but important difference between feedback and appreciation. At a personal level, feedback, is predominately focussed on what someone is doing and whilst aimed at improving performance can be positive or negative. Appreciation on the other hand is focussed on the person, who they are, who they are being, and is always positive.

We are quick to give negative feedback, less so the positive. Sadly, it is unusual to give appreciation.

There is plenty written about how to give and receive feedback, so let’s focus primarily on the art of giving and receiving appreciation.

In the workplace, many employees report that feeling appreciated by their employer and/or co-workers promotes their sense o self-worth, greater emotional investment in their work and fosters a more trusting environment.

For some of us, giving and even receiving appreciation is not easy….

We asked workshop participants, who all worked in the same department, to pair up and offer a word or two of appreciation to each other. For most of them this was extremely difficult to do, both as the speaker and as the receiver.

Part of the reason it feels difficult is firstly, it is unusual, and secondly, it requires us to tune in and sense the other person, and then allow a word or two to arise from within. It is not something to think about, the words come from our heart.

However, offering appreciation itself is straightforward….

The speaker looks at the recipient, pauses and allows a word or two of appreciation to arise, not to overthink it, and simply trust that the words will come. The receiver looks at the speaker, listens closely to the words and feels the emotion behind what they were saying, takes it in and says, “Thank you”. Swap over and repeat.

When working in groups, at the end of a meeting, invite everyone to offer a word of appreciation to the group and then to the person on their left or right.

Try it with your partner or child tonight, and watch them taking it in….after, of course, they ask, “What do you want?

We crave being appreciated as it helps us to feel seen and heard, to feel valued, and to know that we matter.

Colin Smith, more often known as The Listener.

Helping individuals to feel heard, think better and to learn how to listen.

https://dexteritysolutions.co.uk

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Mind the gap

Why do we get distracted when we are listening to someone speaking?

Why are we so quick to respond to a question or to offer our opinion? When, on reflection wish we had said it more clearly, added more detail and depth, or just remained silent and thought about our response before speaking?

We can speak at around 125 words per minute. We hear and understand words at around 450 words per minute. (Hence why we can listen to podcasts or videos at up to twice the normal speed.)

This means that even when we are focussed on listening to the speaker, we can get easily distracted. They say a word that triggers our distraction, e.g. ‘cinema’ or ‘football’. Or a thought that enters our head, e.g. ‘What shall I have for dinner tonight?’ or ‘I need to remember to call my boss’. Whatever it is, we have stopped listening and we need to get back to what the speaker is saying.

One way to return to the speaker is to focus on our breath. As we return, begin to notice the person speaking, their facial features, their eyes, if they are relaxed, uncomfortable, where are they looking, etc. All of these small pieces of information, added to their words, help us to form a more intimate picture of the person in front of us. Whilst we are listening with our ears, we are also seeing them with our eyes, sensing them with our intuition, connecting to their heart, and so much more. We may be fully ‘seeing’ this person for the very first time, even though we have ‘known’ them for many years. (This happened during one of my workshops, with two very colourful people, resulting in them both shedding a few tears together and finishing the exercise with a wholehearted hug.)

Recently though, I realised that there is an even more profound angle on the speed of speaking and understanding, this time how it relates to the speaker.

Typically, in a society that values the speaker and talking, there exists an unsaid competition for speaking first, most and longest. In order to compete, we need to learn to compose our thoughts, wait for the speaker to draw breath or sort of finish, all at the expense of our fully listening. (I say sort of, because it is very rare for a person to be given the time to actually finish speaking) The moment they stop speaking, we immediately speak, unless of course someone else is even faster than us!

Quite often, sadly, we will assume that we know what the other person is going to say, and we interrupt them with our point. As we are speaking, someone then interrupts us. The stress in the room rises, as it would do in competition, and so it goes on. Because we are stressed we experience the fight or flight response, at which point the quality of our thinking diminishes.

In much the same way as the listener is able to listen and understand at c450 words per minute, the speaker also thinks at the same rate. However, they are only able to speak at c125 words per minute. This means there are probably another c325 words that have been thought, but not fully expressed at that time.

Could we give them more time to think and to speak?

When the speaker is stressed, as in a ‘competition’, the words that are said are likely to be those words that are the simplest and quickest to formulate, a sort of path of least resistance. “I need to get my words out fast and out now, as I am almost certainly going to be interrupted or my moment taken away when I draw breath or finish a sentence”. In that stressful situation, speaking without real thinking is all we are capable of doing.

Now imagine an environment that is supportive of people being heard, through individuals actively listening to the speaker, things would change dramatically. When the speaker reaches the end of a sentence, pauses for breath or even stops for a moment to think, if they are not interrupted and instead encouraged to continue speaking, there is a good chance the remaining c325 words will be spoken.

Even better, when it is your turn to speak, imagine how you might feel if you too were given time to think before speaking, and know you will not be interrupted.

In my experience when people are first learning the above approach, they expect it to take too long for everyone to think, speak, and fully listen. Whilst I agree that in the early stages of breaking these old patterns, time taken in conversation is longer. However, very quickly the quality and depth of the conversation improves, the time taken reduces, which makes the effort all worthwhile. All involved in the conversation begin to feel heard, feel valued and feel that they matter. And we would all like that, wouldn’t we?

“To be interrupted is not good. To get lucky and not be interrupted is better.  But to know you will not be interrupted allows you truly to think for yourself’.  Nancy Kline Author of Time to Think and More Time to Think

My special thanks to Nancy Kline and her fellow Time to Think facilitators, whose thinking has been fundamental to many aspects of my own thinking and way of being.

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Hear from or Listen to….So what?

“Raise your arm if you believe you are a better than average listener?”

“Keep your arm raised if anyone has said, “Thank you for listening”, in the last two weeks.

I ask these two questions at the beginning of my workshops and usually everyone raises their arm to the first question, and the majority of attendees take them down in response to the second question.

Why might this be?

Primarily, we make the mistake of believing that listening and hearing is the same thing. In addition, living in a fast paced, multi distracting society, we feel we have little or no time to be fully present enough to deeply listen to another person.

A typical response is that listening and hearing is the same thing.

Unless you are audibly impaired we can all hear, yet only a few choose to listen.

Hearing is passive, it is an ability, it happens without our thinking. For example, someone calls your name out across a noisy room, you hear it, a train passes whilst you are sleeping, you hear it, until you get used to it. We hear everything

Listening is active, it is a skill, even though it looks like you’re not doing anything. You have to decide to listen, to pay attention; you have to be a listener. Research shows that when speakers feel they are being heard, they are more likely to like and trust them.

One of the simple ways I choose to remember the difference is, “We hear from”, and, “We listen to”.

“We hear from”, means we don’t have to do anything to hear them.

“We listen to”, means we have to choose to listen to the person speaking.

Exercise

Next time you are walking in the park, stop and intend to notice the various sounds coming at you, maybe an aeroplane, children laughing, people talking, cars passing by, road works, music playing, and so on. Then, notice that you had not taken any notice of these sounds until you turned your attention to them. Yet they were always there, our brain had filtered them out as not important. Now, whilst paying these sounds your full attention, try and send someone a text message. Notice how your mind has to focus on one or the other, and how difficult it is to focus on both things at the same time.

How many times do we tune out, barely even hearing, let alone listening, to our work colleague, our partner, and our children? How many times do we try and listen on more than one thing or person?

Take this new awareness into the workplace and your home life, and set your intention to focus on being more fully present, noticing more sounds, remaining silent and letting the other person talk.

“His gestures were few. But the attention he gave me, his appreciation of what I said, even when I said it badly, was extraordinary. You’ve no idea what it meant to be listened to like that.”  Dale Carnegie, Author of How to Win Friends and Influence People

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Why Bother Listening?

What difference could better listening skills make to you and your people?

What impact could better listening have on your business?

What value would you put on improving your connections with your clients?

Imagine the benefits if all your people fell in love with listening, listening more actively and deeply to your clients and to each other.

Imagine if this resulted in everyone feeling really heard and valued?

Well……

Listening is my passion and I offer people and teams the opportunity to feel heard and to find out how to more actively listen.

I am curious to know your thoughts and observations on the above.

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