To listen to another is a gift. Do you see it that way? Or do you find yourself struggling at times listening to another person share their challenges? Do you find yourself wanting to hurry the conversation? Are you formulating your response even as they are still talking?
Currently I am creating/writing a mentorship training program for YogaMotion with my colleague Nancy Ruby and one of the areas I will be speaking to is the act of listening. We are all guilty of not truly being present with another person as they are sharing something they feel is important. Or we want to interject something we feel is important and can’t wait for them to finish speaking so we can put our two cents worth in. When we do that, we are no longer truly listening to what they are saying anymore.
My husband is involved with a wonderful organization called The Mankind Project and he shared something they teach in this organization about the various levels of listening. I thought I would share this here as it is a great tool and something for us all to be mindful of when listening to another whether it is a friend, spouse or a mentee.
Level -1: I’m not listening to you at all. I am talking.
Level 0: I’m barely listening, merely waiting for you to stop talking so that I can speak my opinions.
Level 1: I’m intent on what you are saying but I am listening through the filter of my own feeling, judgements and charges.
Level 2: I’m unattached, empathetic and “over there” with you in a place of curiosity.
Level 3: I’m at level 2 and also reading all that is not being said by you; Your voice, facial expressions, etc. I am using my intuition.
Level 4: I’m creating a level 3 impact in those around me.
As you read through those levels do you find that you tend to fall in one more than another? Or maybe it depends on who is talking or the subject matter being shared? It’s definitely something to ponder. To truly listen is a gift we can share with another. We all want to be heard and feel supported.
May you be heard and may you hear another when they are sharing with you.