Updated: Jan 30
In this 4 part series, we will explore the CORE of listening: Centering, Outcome, Relate, and Empathize.
When we’re listening, we need to be sure that we are first and foremost centered--this means that we are calm. Before we can hear anyone else, we need to be in a state of mind to receive. This is paramount. Listening begins with YOU, the listener. Most people think that listening starts with the other person, but it really begins only AFTER you have made certain that you are in a place where you can hear them without getting pulled off your center. It is imperative that we calm and stay present to the other person when we’re listening. When we do this, we become not just a good listener, but a great one.
Staying in our center is what keeps us from the “Don’ts” of listening (See our other blog/vlog posts on those!) I’ve learned that I need to pay very close attention when I begin to feel emotionally uncomfortable. It means I’m about to get pulled off that center, and I will start looking for a distraction. ANY DISTRACTION! When I feel my calm slipping away, that’s when I’m most likely to let my phone (let’s be honest, it’s usually my phone), or it could be the laundry that needs immediate attention. It requires that we put more effort into making sure the phone stays away, and my presence stays with the person speaking.
To really listen, we have got to be able to hold our truth and know that what the other person is saying is true for them. In my mind, I see this like a beautiful Cirque de Sole move that involves balance and precision for both people. BOTH people matter, and must be cared for with safety. Neither is wrong, they simply each have their own perspective, and that may or may not be the same. It takes intention to learn this—that BOTH people can be right, that no feeling is wrong. We simply have own experience. Use the pause button and come back to the conversation if needed.
Mr. Rogers, my life hero, made people feel that they were the only person in the world when he was listening. He listened from his center. Let’s make that the goal we are all aiming for in our interactions.
If you need a centered listener to truly focus on you, go to www.hearingoutlifedrama.com and schedule a time for YOU.