I used to believe that I listened really well. That was until I found myself sitting in my professional coach training class doing an exercise on listening. After that 15 min exercise I was humbled by how I was hearing what was being said but not actually listening.
Instead, I was thinking about how I could relate to what was being said, or what I wanted to say next, or just waiting for the person to take a breath long enough for me to jump in with an experience I wanted to share. There was a lot going on in my head but none of it was “fully present listening” – turning down the volume on my internal chatter and placing my focus fully on the other person.
One of the most powerful ways we can show up as leaders is to be fully present and listen to others.
To seek understanding.
To listen for what’s not being said.
Sometimes the very act of listening to someone is all they need in the moment. They don’t need you to fix, solve, or do anything – just listen.
The greatest part about listening is that it’s a practice!
You get better at it the more you do it.
- What’s one situation or relationship where an improved practice of listening could have a big impact on the outcome?
- What’s a challenge that you want to give yourself today around listening?
- Write down just a few notes about how you’re feeling about the situation and how you want to challenge yourself today.
At the end of today, come back to your notes and answer these questions:
- What did you do differently?
- What, if anything, did you notice about the impact it had on the other person?
- What, if anything, was different about the outcome of this situation?
Enjoy building the competency of listening!