“So Colin, what do you do?”
“I am The Listener”
”The Listener? What does that mean?”
“When was the last time you felt really heard?”
“Oh come on, we all know how to listen.”
“Sure, I am listening now.”
“Are you? Or are you just hearing me?”
“What do you mean?”
“You intuitively know when someone is not listening, you can feel it.
How many times have you been in a conversation with someone and your attention gets distracted? You notice a person walking past, your mobile vibrating, an advert on a hording, a sports car passing by, your watch, the television?
Also, what else are you hearing? The conversation on the next table, a siren, the people at the bar, the strangers walking past? These are all happening at the same time as you are trying to hear the person in front of you.
Furthermore, what thoughts are going on inside your head? I wonder if the trains are running on time yet, I really do need to get to the gym tomorrow, why didn’t she call me back, when will they say yes to my proposal.....
Sorry what were you saying....you see what I mean?”
“Goodness, so listening is very different to hearing. So what tips would you offer for listening better?”
“Real listening, like much of life, is a paradox. Real listening is active, yet it looks like you are doing nothing, hearing is passive yet it looks like you are doing a lot.
So my tips are very simple, slow down, face the person you are speaking to, look them in the eye and maintain eye contact, even when they look away to think. Be fully present with them, after all if they are not the most important person for you at that moment, why are you even there? Do not interrupt, just allow them to speak uninterrupted, be comfortable in the silence, and when you think they have finished speaking or the silence is too long, allow that silence to remain a little longer.”
“Wow, so will this make a difference to my relationships?”
“Definitely, your colleagues at work, your loved ones, and especially your children. And you never know, you might start listening to yourself better too.”
If you would like to experience being heard, wish to think deeper and more creatively or to learn how to really listen, just let me know. Colin Smith at [email protected] or +44 (0)7939-013651 or see me on youtube at http://youtu.be/IzvnFs3qwLg.