In this world of instant messaging, constant texting and 24/7 media, it can sometimes be difficult to have a whole conversation where someone is not distracted. Do you know what I mean?
One of my favorite skills from coaching that comes in so handy in cutting through the distractions and getting back to the sacredness of conscious communication is called active listening. The great thing is, you don’t have to be a coach or be talking with clients to reap the benefits of active listening. Incorporating this practice in your work or anywhere in your life will give you and those around you more gifts than you can imagine.
Active listening is about putting down distractions and really listening to the person you are talking to. That means letting go of judgment to the best of your ability so you can hear the true essence of what the other person is communicating to you.
During active listening we relinquish many of our normal patterns that frequently occur when we talk with others such as muti-tasking, worrying about what the other person will think about us if we speak our truth, or merely waiting for the other person to finish speaking so we can talk. Instead, with active listening, we simply listen to what the other person is saying both verbally and through body language (if in person).
With active listening, we connect more fully to the sacredness of the person we are talking with and honor him or her by focusing our awareness on what she is saying. When we do this, a powerful connection starts to grow. People feel touched when they know that they are really heard. Just by listening fully, you are saying, “you matter and I want to know what you believe in, how you feel and what your experiences are.”
People’s hearts open and their eyes light up when they feel heard, and they’ll want to give this gift back to you as well.
In coaching, active listening let’s you discover your clients’ dreams, visions, struggles, and concerns. It helps you hear what they really want and what they believe is possible for them.
Using active listening with anyone in your life will allow this kind of deep heart felt sharing to occur. It will fill you and those around you with a priceless richness.
Active listening can also be about opening up to truly listening to yourself or your body as well. Making some space to use active listening with our bodies can be a very powerful way to create more health or to heal illness or imbalances. I’m always so astonished at what happens when I tune in and listen to the signals my body is giving me.
I invite you to play around with these elements of active listening during the next week and observe what happens as you tune in more fully to yourself and others.
How does it shift the tone of your conversations or the feelings you have as you connect with others?
I would love to know what you experience. Please share about that below and let us know what you discover as you practice this sacred art of conscious listening.