‘Be a better listener’

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20th June 2024

People don’t always need advice, sometimes all they really need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen & a heart to understand them.

In my journey to become a Life Coach, I realised, the one basic skill which is most important to become a better person is to develop the ‘Art of listening.’

Habit 5 in the book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People,’ by Stephen Covey, states: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood,” or listen first then speak.

Covey explains that people often do not listen in a conversation; instead, they rush to talk and give advice or opinion.

The reason is that we relate the information we hear to our own experiences, and we do not make a deliberate effort to understand the other side.

Nevertheless, active listening and understanding are the keys to effective communication in business and in life.

In the book, ‘Co-Active Coaching,’ Henry and Karen Kimsey-House explain the 3 levels of listening & how the art of listening can be cultivated.

“Me” Listening:

You’re having a conversation, but your internal voice is relating everything you hear to something in your own life. Your internal voice runs off on tangents, thinking about your own life while the other person is talking about theirs. You’re waiting to speak, not listening to learn. This is the default mode of listening for everyone.

“You” Listening:

You’re having a conversation, and you are deeply focused on what the other person is saying. You are present and intently focused. You’re not waiting to speak, you’re listening to learn.

“Us” Listening:

You’re building a “map” of the other person, understanding how all the new information they are sharing fits into that broader map of their life and world. You’re listening to understand, considering the layers beneath what the other person is saying.

Most people default to Level 1 listening—but charismatic people have a practiced intention around Level 2 and Level 3 listening.

If you want to build new, genuine relationships, you have to live in Level 2 and Level 3.

Be a loud listener:

After you ask questions, lean in, show your focus and presence with body language, facial expressions, and sounds.

As you listen, make mental notes of a few pertinent facts about the person, their interests, or anything else that jumps out to you.

Become an active listener which is more than just hearing words; it’s about comprehending, responding, and engaging with the speaker in a meaningful way.

Listen to both the spoken and unspoken words of the speaker, listen to comprehend the other persons perspective, to empathize, to find solutions, to have better relationships & stay blessed forever.