Listening for Greater ConnectionOct 12, 2022
Listening is one of the greatest gifts we have for the relationships in our life, but also for ourselves, if we truly want greater connection and happiness in our life.
So what does it take to truly listen to another?
- being present
- letting go of thinking about what you will respond or reply
- allowing yourself to feel and experience what the other person is sharing.
And that’s more easily said than done.
Listening is something that we need to practice, not take for granted.
And we can start by practicing with those we love the most.
The next time you’re spending time with a loved one, have just one, single intention: How can I listen to this person, so that I truly understand and experience what they are saying?
It’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable, and the more we do it the more we experience the kind of connection and happiness we’re all craving in life.
STEP-BY-STEP • Listening for True Understanding
You will need:
- A conversation with a trusted loved one, to practice with.
- Love and compassion for yourself.
- A safe, uninterrupted space.
- Each set a clear intention for listening. [This time is NOT about reconciliation, decision-making, or making changes in any way. This time is simply about listening for understanding].
For example: • It’s my intention to do my best to listen to you.
Or: • It’s my intention to let go of my own perspective, to truly listen to and
understand your perspective.
- Someone must first be the sharer, and the other person will listen first.
As the sharer, choose one of the following prompts, and do your best to share your own experience and feelings:
A – I really want you to know and understand that …
B – I’ve been really challenged about this recently ...
C – I have to get this off my chest …
- As the listener, it’s now your opportunity to let go of thinking about responding – rather in each and every moment: listen deeply to the sharer so that you understand what they are sharing. The listener remains silent until the sharer is no longer talking (which can be hard – but you can do it!)
- Once the sharer has stopped talking for a few moments, it’s now the listener’s opportunity to share what they just heard. Like you’re a parrot – it’s now your job to share what you heard – to see if you truly did hear and understand what the sharer was trying to communicate.
- As the sharer, once you feel truly understood by the listener, let them know that you do feel understood and heard. Thank them for taking the time to truly listen and to understand.
- Swap Roles! If you were the sharer – you are now the listener. And vice versa.
Repeat questions 2 through 5 in alternate roles.
That’s it! It might not result in a disney moment to begin with. But with practice, your ability to listen and truly understand your loved ones and others in your world will result in greater connection and happiness.
If you have challenges or questions with this exercise, submit a Question for the LIVE Q&A this month!
CREDIT • Acknowledgements
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