Or a more direct question would be…how often do you listen – really listen – to someone who is trying to convey their feelings to you?
There are plenty of quotes about the subject such as “You aren’t learning when you are speaking” and “We have two ears and one mouth. Use accordingly” and – this one is on the button! – “Most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand”
One way to practise this is when you are thinking about your answer while someone is speaking, or even trying to interrupt someone, stop yourself. Wait a minute. Ask another question. Wait until the other person has finished articulating their point.
Also, listen with more than your ears. Listen with your eyes, your heart, and with your brain engaged and focused on them, not you.
One of my favourite coaching models is Conversational Intelligence and the book by Judith E. Glaser who designed the model is a must-read. It’s available in book form and audio.
The premise of her model is that “To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of our culture, which depends on the quality of our relationships, which depends on the quality of our conversations. Everything happens through conversations”.
She describes the three levels of conversations as follows:
Level 1 – Transactional – exchanging data and information.
Level 2 – Positional – working with power and influence.
Level 3 – Co-creating the future for mutual success.
Watch yourself over the next few days at home and at work. Can you identify which conversations fall into which category above?
You can guess which is the best one for connecting deeply with people, resolving conflicts and successfully moving forward on any project, no matter how challenging it is.
Until next week, take care!
P.S. If you would like to take this further and have coaching to really deepen your conversational skills contact me any time for a 30 minute free no-obligation chat by phone.