One of the core teachings in my new workshop series is about listening deeply to someone. Being aware of your listening skills is the start of a compassionate approach to yourself and everyone around you.
Recently, at the start of a meeting, I shared how I felt about a situation at work. A hard-share and I felt vulnerable asking for some reflection. My colleague nodded (empathically), then avoided eye-contact and quickly, started moving our attention back to the initial reason for our meeting.
How often do we speak with someone and notice that they aren’t really listening? And how do we feel when that happens?
Listening really is a core skill for all of us. Listening to your team, co-worker or (potential) customers; truly and deeply listening to what someone is saying, requires subtle skills that go beyond your ears. It’s about reading between the lines, paying attention to body language, really hearing the call underneath the narrative.
At the same time it requires the more active skills on your behalf: simply start small; keep direct eye-contact; stay tuned-in instead of tuning-out; avoid interrupting; show empathy through body language; refrain from judgment by avoiding the words ‘I think’; give active feedback by responding with a summary: “It sounds like…” or: “Let me make sure I have got this right: …”
Leadership is about serving
It’s all about giving what you want to receive! What we all really want, is for someone to listen to us deeply, right? To see us in our dignity, to see our shape & size, to honour us for who we are, completely and entirely as we are. And listening actively and subtly shows people that we do.
Practice it and try it on for size, or sign-up to be on the mailing list to stay informed about my workshop-program that start in September, “Compassion is a Verb”.
It will make you a more effective leader in every way. Listening is a quality of leadership as well as of the heart.
Barbara writes about compassion and takes a positive approach to health. She supports leadership and teams in their personal development. To cultivate what is often referred to as ‘soft skills’ and what she calls the ‘hard skills’; Presence, practicing Deep listening, a Non-Judgmental Attitude, (self)Compassion, (self)Awareness.’
“By connecting to yourself first, you become more resilient.”
Image Credit Jonathan Castellon at Unsplash.com