“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
~ Stephen Covey
My soul leaps for joy when I have a conversation with someone that gets me. When they listen intently without judging, comparing, advising or changing the subject. Having a real conversation, a deep soulful conversation is one of my favorite things to do. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, it just has to be real.
See if you can catch yourself when you have a conversation. I am paying attention, so that I can catch myself, too. When someone is telling you about something, are you waiting for them to pause so you can give them advise? Are you rehearsing what you want to say when it is your turn? Are you thinking their opinion is wrong?
Let’s turn listening into a compassionate state of mind, where we hold space for that person to unravel their story in their own way. In our attentive silence, they may sort things out for themselves.
When we listen, let’s listen with curious ears. Let’s wonder what happened that made them form that opinion or belief? What is the problem or objective? Let’s ask empowering questions that help them to find what the next the next step is that they can do. This works well for our own conversations in our heads. Hmmm… That thought comes around pretty often… Is that really true? If not, why do I think that? If so, is it something I need to accept and love myself anyway?
Some conversations are like a circle. They go round and round and nothing ever changes. Complaining about the same things and never doing anything different provides no change and no growth. Nothing happens in these conversations. They are full of “assertions”, meaning, opinions and remedies are given about what the person should do, whether the person asked for them or not.
When we ask empowering questions, and listen with engaged presence, the next step reveals itself, and creates movement forward. Let’s help create action by asking clarifying questions. We can create something, bring our goals and dreams into existence, if we can figure out what the goal around a problem is.
The other day, I got about one sentence out before I was getting advise and I said, “No, I don’t want to do that at all, that isn’t my end goal.” The person was so surprised. You have to wait for the whole story before you know what the person is trying to convey.
We literally create as we speak and believe what we think, so it is wise to pay attention to ourselves and others. Let’s raise the quality of our lives by raising our vibrations to match what we want, instead of complaining and staying in “circle” talk.
Words with higher vibration are words like love, passion, brilliance, thoughtful, appreciate, miracle, wisdom. Lower vibration words are like stupid, hate, war, scarcity, you should have, you can’t, what are you thinking?
Every time we listen to someone talk we are listening through our filters, thoughts and memories. The conversation filters through our experience with the subject. Our experience might not be the truth or the right way for someone else. If we examine the belief, we may find it is no longer true for us, either.
So let’s commit to be open to the conversation that is unfolding. Ask clarifying and empowering questions to help the person unfold into their new story. Let’s use high vibrational words and listen beyond the story to the essence of the person.
Let’s do the same for ourselves. Let’s live inside powerful questions that we ask ourselves and weave a bigger story around our smaller stories and become more of who we are every day. Let’s step into our higher selves and find our bliss.
So I ask you, who are you today?
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~ Leo Buscaglia