and I feel like I need to get it off my chest today. People in general really suck at listening. There. I said it.
Anyone feeling me on this?
Now I’m always willing to be the first to raise my hand up high and say, “Guilty as charged.” Just like everyone else, I get distracted. Distractions are all around us and up in our heads. Cell phones are BIG ONE. And smart watches. How often do you glance at yours the moment it buzzes?
So today I thought I’d go over some of the basics of the Art of Active Listening. A skill we could ALL use a little brushing up on!
Let’s tune up those listening ears!
There's a quote I heard several years ago that has stuck with me and that I always remember when I am listening to someone who is sharing their truth with me.
"Listen and attend with the ear of your heart" - Benedict of Nursia
This is my reminder to drop out of my busy mind that is wired to want to reply, interrupt, or even fix what the other person is sharing and instead to simply LISTEN. I can’t do this if I am A) glancing at a text that just came in on my wrist, B) scrolling on Instagram, or C) allowing my mind to wander to whatever else it might be wanting to chew on.
So I say "Simply Listen" ...but it's not that easy to do. Here are 10 tips to help you practice being a really awesome listener!
1) Face the person speaking and make eye contact
2) Watch for non-verbal cues (facial expression, body position)
3) Don't interrupt!
4) Listen without judging, or jumping to conclusions
5) Don't start planning what to say next
6) Show that you are listening (this means ignore that buzzing on your phone)
7) Don't impose your opinions or solutions
8) Stay focused (use your breath to remind you to stay present)
9) Ask questions
10) Paraphrase & summarize
Like any new skill, it's like training a muscle. The more you practice, the better you get! So challenge yourself this week to put that ear of your heart to the test and see how it changes your experience in how you engage with others.
Want to experience what it feels like to be truly heard?
As a Life Coach, I am trained to be an AMAZING LISTENER! A huge part of my job is to listen to my clients, to ask them though provoking, dig deep questions and to LISTEN. Then, I reflect back to them what they have said so they truly, truly feel heard. Not only is this incredibly validating and healing, it is also a way to hear the stuff that's going on in your head and then be able to determine if it is indeed true and worthy or if it's just noise. It is in this space of openness, honesty and truth that we can begin to do the deeper work my clients are seeking - a life of greater purpose & passion, a life of authenticity, and a life full of joy!
Sound amazing? Well it is! Let's get on a call so you can experience what truly being heard feels like!
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Meet Mary Baker ..LIFE COACH, YOGA TEACHER, MINDFULNESS GUIDE, RECOVERING PERFECTIONIST & PEOPLE PLEASER, FEAR CONQUEROR, TRUTH SEEKER, & DREAM WEAVER