In advance of next week’s webinar on POWER listening I have been thinking. For the next couple of days I will share with you pieces of the ebook that is the result of that thinking.  Listening is essential.  Getting better at it takes skill and practice.  Let me share some ideas about the attitudes, skills and knowledge that could help you improve your listening ….

The POWER of PULSE: Deep Listening

Dr. Nancy Love

Listening is something we do every day.  It is what helps us find our way in the world.  It works with our other senses to help us interpret our world.  Even though listening is so essential to our well-being, we do not always do it well.  We are often told to pay attention, to listen.  We are reminded that it is possible to do two things at once as long as one of them isn’t listening.  Often we are hearing noises, background sounds that help us situate ourselves but we are not necessarily listening.  People may be telling us a story or asking us a question but we may be distracted, focused on something else and not near because we are not listening.  We may get bored and allow our mind to wander to our grocery list or our happy place.

Hearing and listening are different.  Listening is hearing with attention, even concentration.  When you listening with a purpose the act of listening becomes a deliberate attempt to understand the other person. Listening without distraction allows you to listen for the answer to a question or listen to the emotion of, in the case of someone offering an intervention, to listen on behalf of someone else to what is being said.

It becomes important to check your own listening skills.  Watch yourself listening and just notice the kinds of things that take you away from the listening.  Also notice how good it feels when you know that someone else has heard your concerns or your joy.  The purposes of deep listening using tools like the POWER set of tools include such things as listening for something new, to make a new friend, to find an answer, to get direction, to improve the quality of communication, conversations, and relationships.

People often ask me what makes PULSE work.  For me it is the whole Idea of honouring the other person by listening to them.  I like to move over into their world and see what’s going on there.  I know how important I feel when someone gives me a gift of time and attention and I am happy when I can pass that gift along.  As humans we have a deep desire to feel heard, to have evidence that someone else cares enough to hear our opinion, our perspective, our emotion.  It is really not necessary to have them agree.  It is only important that they hear and understand.  That feeling of being heard diffuses conflict and shifts people from fight, flight or freeze to release, relax and relate.  Sometimes it is all that is needed to resolve differences.

If you give someone the gift of appreciative and deliberate listening you will always be surprised by what comes back to you.  You will not only earn yourself a hearing with them but you will learn valuable information that may even change your perception of the situation and will definitely help you map a course through the conversation you are in.  Listening with your ears, with your eyes and with your body you will be gathering information that will increase the likelihood of reaching common ground with the other person.  Listen to understand. Listen for patterns, insights and deeper questions.  Listen for silence and what is it saying.  Listen for the space between the words.  Listen deeply and with HEART and with POWER.

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