A conversation in Singapore recently highlighted again to the value of Listening. “I did the hard work of keeping my mouth shut.” This was the comment made by my friend Dr James Chia, over lunch in Little India. I almost dropped my pappadum back into the cucumber raita. So profound. He’s a great leader, and in this example he was sharing with me, a great dad.
Can you remember a conversation where you wanted to jump in and help, but you realised that if you simply listened, the person you’re with might figure it out on their own. It’s a powerful thing to do for people, but much easier just to throw in our comments and opinions.
As I’ve been interviewing readers of DO Talk To Strangers, one of the key elements that they’re finding transformative is their listening practice. Yes, it’s a practice. And once you’re mindful of it, it’s easy to see opportunities to serve others in this way. And you’ll see the benefits unfold. Here’s a section within the ASKING Model, under Interest in Others, on page 60 –
I’d love to hear from you – what are some of the benefits you’re discovering? It might be “the pressure is off! I don’t have to have all the answers!” It’s rewarding to see people, especially those you’re developing – your team at work or your children or others you mentor, finding answers and the confidence that grows as a result. You also learn more and have profound insights as you tune in to really listen.
As I’ve been listening to readers of the book, and my audiences, it’s led me to create more resources to support the Connectors learning journey. Over the next few weeks you’ll see the Connect With Confidence online program and Audio series being released.
Have a great week, listen for insight, listen for potential, and enjoy the journey.
Cheering you on,
PS. Just in case the image above didn’t load – here’s the text from page 60 in DO Talk To Strangers –
Interested enough to LISTEN
Maybe today you’ll have a conversation with someone. Can I ask you to take note of what you’re listening for because we can listen for an opportunity to say something, especially if there’s a group of three or four people around and you think, “Ooh! I’ve got a story about that”. So we’re listening for the opportunity to jump in and tell that story. We can listen for the question that they’re asking so that we can answer that, perhaps to look smart. Or you can listen for what they are really saying, without judgement, and without jumping ahead . Are you open for them to say something new? If your attitude is ‘I’ve heard it all before’ you won’t listen in the same way as a lifelong learner.
When you’re talking, the person who is listening has a lot of things going on in their brain. Even while I’m hearing what you’re saying and wanting to be completely present, I’m also thinking, “Yes, yes! I get that”. It’s about the quality of listening. How long since you’ve really felt listened to? Perhaps it was a complete stranger on a train or in a hospital waiting room who really heard you and just let you talk.