Do you really listen


One of the things people often remark about me is that they feel really listened to and heard when they have a chat with me or I am coaching them.
One of the things people often remark about me is that they feel really listened to and heard when they have a chat with me or I am coaching them.

To be honest, this is a skill that I have honed since learning NLP. I would love to say that I have always been a great listener. I can say that I used to think that i was though!
Do you have an inner champion problem solver?

The problem used to be that I would start to listen and then the ears of my inner champion problem solver would get distracted by something the other person said and I would be so eager to give my solution to their problem, that my true listening switched off.

I also used to be a champion inferential listening – someone expressed a problem and I would immediately infer that they needed my advice to solve it.

What I soon realised, when I started learning Neuro-Linguistic Programming, is that the only advice that people really take is the advice they give themselves. There might be a chance that they take your advice if they specifically ask for it, but me jumping in with my solutions were just that – my solutions and not theirs!
How many ways do you listen?

The thing is, we can listen in so many different ways. Be honest, how many times do you listen whilst being slightly distracted by something else and your attention is only partially on the person speaking?

Do you ever find yourself already pre-judging how a conversation is going to go and then find yourself listening out for the proof that your original preconception was correct?

What about when you have a preconceived idea about a person and find yourself latching on to the things you disagree with?

Or when you really like someone and find yourself latching onto all the things you have in common, or agree with, and disregarding the things you don’t?

One of the most common things that we all do when we are listening is that we hear something the other person says that relates to our own experiences and can become so eager to express these similarities and share our own experiences that we stop really listening to them.

Listening as an essential skill in relationships

The thing is that, when it comes to relationships, listening is an essential skill that both parties need to have. In order to really understand each other’s viewpoints and be able to consider those viewpoints rationally and without negative emotions the first step is to let go of our own stuff.

To help with that letting go, we need to allow ourselves to become really curious about what is going on for them and start to listen to what they are actually saying and not what we think they are saying.

For example, if someone says to you ‘I feel really frustrated’ we might have a tendency to mind-read what that frustration is like for them, or even what has caused it, but we don’t really know unless we ask and then listen with curiosity.

Asking questions such as ‘what happened just before you felt frustrated?’, ‘what kind of really frustrated is that?’, ‘what do you need to stop feeling really frustrated?’ or even ‘is there anything you need from me to help with that feeling of being really frustrated’ may sound a bit strange and different and yet they give you a chance to understand more.
And through understanding comes better communication.

And through better communication comes better relationships.

More ways to improve your relationships

Learning NLP enabled me to not only improve my listening skills, it also enabled me to vastly improve my important relationships and move into a new relationship partnership which enables me to be the best version of myself.

If you would like to know more about how you can improve your current and future relationships, then have a look at our future events or contact us to find out how NLP can make that difference.

Alternatively feel free to drop me an email if you would like to chat further