" ignite your true self "

. . . and UNDERSTOOD, IMPROVE COMPREHENSION

 

Training is Approached from Both Sides

As the Speaker: Being heard, listened to and confirmed on any subject, for any reason in a respectful space of compassion, and non-judgement. Being validated is so important to who you are, what you are about.  I am the listener in these sessions.

As the Listener: Develop your listening skills. How to listen, understand, interject at appropriate intervals and giving your attention to the speaker. Diminishing or removing bad speaking habits of interrupting, and assuming.  In these sessions, I am the speaker for you to hear.

Listening & Communicating Skills Taught

In a world of noise, excess information and gluttony of negative news, your personal voice often goes unheard.

So many people just want to be heard, to have what they say validated and mean more than just a casual ‘oh sure, ya, anyways’.

Active listening is about giving or receiving someone’s full attention by hearing their words, not thinking in your head about yourself.

The only time one can interject is to get clarity and a better perspective in understood and being heard.  Otherwise, comments are to acknowledge and validate who you are listening to.

Rephrasing is a common tool, to signal to the person speaking that you understand them.  Rephrasing is when you use different words to say back the main point of what was said.  This technique helps both parties know the message is correct.  This tool is used sparingly, or you begin to interrupt too much or sound like a parrot.

Active listening does mean you cannot speak as in a two-way conversation – it means while one person is talking you give them your full attention.  It’s a skill and hearing is knowledge to understanding.

You validate that the other person has the right to say and speak.  You respect them by hearing their words and giving them the time to be heard.

Some people misunderstand and think if you are listening you are to say nothing – a sounding board.  Not what active listening is.  Active is the determining word in listening; we listen to understand, to make confirmations of agreement that the other has wanted, needs, feeling, desires and so on.  They want to be heard, respected that their thoughts, opinions and feeling are heard with care and validation.

Active listening doesn’t mean you just agree to be polite, or you’re there to lie about agreeing with their choices, etc.

There is enough time in a conversation to say that you don’t agree or would make a different choice.

If people want a sounding board, which is more often than not, they can speak to themselves in the mirror.  Sounding boards are not active listening.

In a world of noise, excess information and gluttony of negative news, your personal voice often goes unheard.

So many people just want to be heard, to have what they say validated and mean more than just a casual ‘oh sure, ya, anyways’.

Active listening is about giving or receiving someone’s full attention by hearing their words, not thinking in your head about yourself.

The only time one can interject is to get clarity and a better perspective in understood and being heard.  Otherwise, comments are to acknowledge and validate who you are listening to.

Rephrasing is a common tool, to signal to the person speaking that you understand them.  Rephrasing is when you use different words to say back the main point of what was said.  This technique helps both parties know the message is correct.  This tool is used sparingly, or you begin to interrupt too much or sound like a parrot.

Active listening does mean you cannot speak as in a two-way conversation – it means while one person is talking you give them your full attention.  It’s a skill and hearing is knowledge to understanding.

You validate that the other person has the right to say and speak.  You respect them by hearing their words and giving them the time to be heard.

Some people misunderstand and think if you are listening you are to say nothing – a sounding board.  Not what active listening is.  Active is the determining word in listening; we listen to understand, to make confirmations of agreement that the other has wanted, needs, feeling, desires and so on.  They want to be heard, respected that their thoughts, opinions and feeling are heard with care and validation.

Active listening doesn’t mean you just agree to be polite, or you’re there to lie about agreeing with their choices, etc.

There is enough time in a conversation to say that you don’t agree or would make a different choice.

If people want a sounding board, which is more often than not, they can speak to themselves in the mirror.  Sounding boards are not active listening.

Skills to diminish or eradicate

  • One-sided – Being engaged in a one-sided conversation that drags on, ignoring out input. We become the sounding board.
  • Interruptions – Two-way conversations where you are interrupted to be one-upped, negated or just talked over.
  • Talking over – Conversations where people are not listening at all, they talk over you afraid that they will forget what they are saying. Not interested in your input or even you.
  • Assumptions – Someone hears the 1st part of your sentence and responds with an entirely incorrect assumption of what you are saying.
  • Turning Around – you hear someone, answer but turn around not being heard – I think this is not intentional just a strange conversation technique. Especially in those heard of hearing.
  • One-Upping – Everything you say about your accomplishments is put down with ‘oh ya I can do 70 push-ups, you are still at 40’. ‘Oh that’s nothing, ‘. Ending with what they can do better’.

Active Listening

Last year, I went to a healing workshop. One of the exercises was to get into pairs for a listening skills evaluation.  We each were to share something about ourselves while the other person listened.

I began to listen to my partner, Brenda.  During her story, I listened attentively with acknowledgement of ‘great, oh, really, I understand’, those types of comments. Near the end, she yelled ‘I don’t care what you think, this is my story’. 

Politely I replied, ‘I am acknowledging your story by letting you know I’m hearing you, that I understand’.  Brenda burst into tears.  She didn’t realise I was hearing her; she thought I was judging her, that I was supposed to say nothing, like a sounding board.  Throughout her life, no one truly heard her.

This is one reaction to being heard in a positive manner, others can be walking away, or crying because they are overwhelmed with the attention.  After a few sessions, people realise how validating and confident building to be heard is.

Hearing with a New Perspective

One client, Bob Greene after working with me for a few months of active listening – being both the listener and speaker, went for coffee with a long-time friend.

Sitting for coffee with his friend, Bob soon started to notice their relationship was based on being patronised and minimised.  Matter factly, the friend spoke about his day, himself and more.  When Bob spoke, he was rushed and interrupted.

Bob rose to say goodbye when his friend said, ‘You look tired, you should take some rest’.  Taken aback Bob was acutely made aware of the dynamics of in this relationship.  How did he not see this before? Why were they even friends?

Bob, a couple of days, later brought his concern up to about their friendship to be told ‘Oh really, you are too sensitive these days.’  Bob ended their relationship.

Active listening without a personal agenda is challenging for most people.  As a society we are often not heard or listened fully to.  The concept is foreign to the majority. We are quieted or sit in front of the TV receiving.

We are not taught to listen to hear, and why so many miss what is truly being communicated. Even in our universities and schools, we are lectured (even if we are to be taught many teachers don’t teach), we are not to interject with a question to understand or gain more info.  We are to sit quietly, while another drones on.

Improving your skills as a communicator both listening and speaking will drastically change your level of interactions.  You may find you learn more about people, understand the dynamics of interacts, and you may be someone who is approached more by other people.  Listeners and good communicators are sought out.

The other side of making life changes, we see how and what our lives are through our friends, acquaintances, co-workers and bosses and family.  Hence why making changes are so challenging for most people, you need to change your influences to make constant changes in yourself.