Effective communication is vital to a relationship as we are all aware.
We are born with a mouth that has the ability to speak. Yet to be effective speakers, most of us need some form of training to do so. We need to be taught.
We are also born with two ears that have the ability listen. Most of us are never trained to listen, like we are to trained to speak.
We do not see listening programs all over world, like we see speaking programs like Toastmasters.
Sure, there are small workshops and books written about listening. But, nothing like formal training.
Though we would all greatly benefit from them on so many levels.
How well we listen truly makes a difference.
Often when we think about listening, we think primarily about listening to others.
But, think about this:
Can you listen to others very well, if you are having a hard time listening to yourself?
As a speaker, I take speaking classes often to learn how to convey my message better.
We work on pitch, tone, extending vocabulary, as well as other verbal skills.
However, we also work on body language, gestures and facial expressions.
In one class, our instructor asked us to look in the mirror as we were speaking so we can observe ourselves.
Then, he asked us to video tape ourselves, as well as voice record ourselves.
We were to analyze ourselves to see where improvements would be beneficial.
But, there was another reason why this instructor wanted us to do all of the above:
So we were comfortable with who we are.
When we are comfortable with who we are and are able to face ourselves, we deliver our message on a more efficient level that if we were not.
This was the best lesson for me. I am not one for faking gestures, purposely making my pitch higher, and other well known techniques.
I prefer to speak from my heart and inflections naturally happen, as well as gestures and passion are truly conveyed.
In order to truly speak from my heart, I had to be very comfortable with myself and trust enough to be vulnerable.
This is what I call Authentic Speaking.
Continue on to read what I consider to be authentic listening.
Here are five important keys to authentic listening:
Authentic listening is listening from your heart, not with your ego based thoughts.
It is listening with openness and without judgement.
It is listening without looking for what you want to hear, nor steering their to mean what you want them to mean.
It is remaining consciously present, without forming a response to what they are saying.
It is being comfortable with the silent moments while they may be formulating their thoughts, instead of filling that silence.
How can you Learn to Listen Authentically?
In order to speak authentically, it greatly helps to be comfortable with yourself and to know yourself.
Likewise authentic listening to others is easier to do if you are comfortable listening to yourself.
Are you comfortable with listening to your thoughts?
Many people run away from their thoughts by filling their mind with music, tv, news, or reading book after book.
Other people have so many thoughts that are crowding their mind that they are overwhelmed, confused and feel stressed.
Some people hate silence and actually fear it. So, they refuse to ever be in silence. Even when not watching TV, they leave it on, just so they hear something.
Others may yell back at themselves when they think certain thoughts. They get angry when memories come up that they no longer want to remember and when thoughts of other unpleasantries.
Do you see yourself in any of these situations?
If you do, ask yourself:
If you are not able to truly listen to yourself in peace, love and with presence, are you really able to listen to others with peace, love and with presence?
When you run, hide, hate, or are frustrated by your own personal thoughts, how are you able to be comfortable with what others are saying? It is very challenging.
I will share with you 4 practices that I teach my clients to do when they are learning how to listen to others:
How to truly listen to yourself with an open mind and open heart.
How to appreciate silence.
How to slow down and pay attention to your thoughts.
How to learn to appreciate your thoughts and to learn from them.
When you are able to listen to yourself, it is so much easier to listen to others authentically.
Your Turn: What some other listening tips that you can offer? Also, do you believe that being able to be open to listen to yourself, will help you effectively listen to others?
Also join us on Thursday, June 26th as we discuss listening in our relationships on #InspireChat at 11amEST.
Enjoy your day!
Joanne Cipressi, CHt, CNLP
Empowerment Coach, Speaker and Author
For coaching, seminar, workshop and speaking engagement requests, please contact me at 267-266-6480 or firstname.lastname@example.org