When is the last time you stayed to listen what your heard? Do you remember one case? Maybe with your best friend the day before his big work presentation; your sister overwhelmed with work and who just had another fight with that girl from Supply Chain; your colleague who had a nervous breakdown in the elevator and you happened to be there; your wife who shared her stories which you can’t make any sense of…You stayed,
You listened but: were you really there and nowhere else, ears and heart all open? Or maybe, you think you shared the pain but you:
- Gave advice without being asked to: “why don’t you do this and that?”
- Reassured: “Don’t worry, I am sure that sooner than later you will be ok”.
- Scrutinized: “How many applications have you sent so far?”.
- Sympathized: “Ooohhh, honey, I am so sorry for you, it must be so hard”.
- Cheered-up: “Come on, the sun is shining, don’t be down. Let’s go for a drink”.
- Spoke about yourself: “The same happened to me, I remember when I was…”
If you actually did one or more of the above, you hit the key six mistakes in mindful listening, wasted your time and missed a great opportunity to CONNECT.
MINDFUL LISTENING IS A WIN-WIN:
You are anyway giving your time, why NOT give your FULL presence?
When you share the pain, it’s not about you, it’s not about solving the problem, it’s not about avoiding it or pretending it’s not bad. It’s really about BEING WITH the person and giving him/her EMPATHY.
It is hard because listening with full presence is not something we know well. We have exactly developed the opposite pattern. It requires a great discipline to remain in control each time we are about to jump to giving unsolicited advice, analyzing, reassuring, sympathizing… But it is so much worth it to try! Fail and try again.
THE THREE GOLDEN RULES OF MINDFUL LISTENING:
- Stay there with her (right there, with HER) and say no words. The most powerful empathy often goes through some invisible paths between each others’ feelings.
- If you are not sure what to do, simply ask your colleague what he needs: “When you tell me XYZ, what are you expecting from me?”. It’s as simple as that and it works! He would answer what he needs, or realize that he doesn’t know himself and you would not waste each others’ time and create a useless cloud of mushy pain avoidance.
- Restate what you heard: that may sound too painful because we all think we are smart enough to understand, so why repeat? Actually, it is not an intelligence thing. When you restate what you just understood, you show the person your own filter. Restating creates a bond and a stone to step on to dig deeper.
Cherry on the top: you will help your friend and you will feel enriched yourself. Just try it, and let me know!PeeledOnion is self-help and personal development blog for all brave souls who want to take ownership of their destiny and make happiness a reality everyday! Your comments and suggestions are welcome to improve the tools and tips shared!