If today you lost your ability to listen - all sound was to disappear in a flash of a moment, what would you do?
Besides the obvious first steps you would then need to learn new ways of listening. Studying lip reading perhaps, becoming more aware of body language and subtle shifts in human connection. You would need to unlearn everything you knew.
We generally take for granted our own biology, and in doing so, we miss the very clues and solutions that lay within us.
Our voices to speak positively with people
Our listening to absorb sound and understand messages
Our eyes to see the path
Our beating heart that keeps us alive as we go about everyday life
You see, until humans are threatened with loss, we seldom appreciate the very thing(s) that these functions are used for.
I'm not one to write so deeply about this - I prefer to vocalise this message and recently did so at a talk around mindful self-leadership.
Today I want to give you 1 simple method that will result in you growing as a self-led human who can connect with and influence anyone - if you so wish it.
A manager who wants to get the very best out of their team
A leader who wants to impact how their teams function
A supervisor who wants to drive increased productivity
A person who wants to improve sales
A person who wants to be heard
A person who wants more impact
What is the one skill above everything else that will accelerate your own influence and impact in this world?
What is the one human skill that we must all practise more of?
Are you ready?!
There you have it!
The biggest secret has been revealed!
Active listening to be precise.
You may be thinking 'ufff what a drag' and, I get it. Why on earth should you carry on reading this? You probably have heard this 'we all have 2 ears and 1 mouth' yes?
Fear not - there are no cliches coming your way and if you spend the next 1 minute with me, I promise you will leave this page feeling much lighter and happier. You will.
I'd like you to think back to a time where there was a group presentation going on, perhaps a training session or a team meeting.
Think about the faces in that room, the level of attention and the level of apparent understanding or engagement happening. The example in your mind should be one of commonality; a reoccurring event (not an annual event for example).
Think about the people who regularly spoke
Now think about the people who rarely spoke
Which category did you fall into?
It's ok to be honest with yourself - self actualisation is incredibly empowering and you get to grow with this.
I'm inviting you to think about why you fall into that specific category, without steering your thoughts too much, perhaps one of these resonates with you:
I am the manager so I must talk
I am the only confident person to speak up
I am the expert on the subject so my voice needs to be heard
I had nothing of interest to add
I was observing so didn't actively take part
I was dialled out - I'm a busy person you know
Perhaps a few of these..? Often at the same time!
I get it - life is fast and full.
If you own a business or you're in a position of influence - as in, you are responsible to the direction of others then yes you ARE a busy person.
Which is why I wanted to gift you with one critical message here today:
If you want to be listened too - you should put in the time to listen
You see, when we talk, we are simply relaying the things already in our mind - from the life experiences we have had. We like to get it out of heads.
We enjoy sharing knowledge and storytelling, it gives us a certain kind of satisfaction - seeing others laughing and smiling as we recreate an experience from a time gone by.
But when we actively listen, we may take on new pieces of information.
The pieces of the puzzle that might have been missing.
People will know when they're being listened too, they will feel it.
And through actively listening you capture the hearts of people, they feel a sense of connection, they feel respected and heard - they are more likely to jump on that bandwagon of whatever you're selling!
Whether it be the next retail concept you want to launch, the next training initiative, the updated operational practices or the extra-time you need from them to complete a project.
So HOW can you listen more to ultimately capture more understanding to influence and impact with those around you?
Be completely present, available, pay attention.
1. This means the phone goes away or is face-down at the least
2. Reflect the feelings portrayed by the speaker
3. Silence hands and feet (really hard at first)!
4. Silence your inner thoughts to pay full attention
Hearing is involuntary, effortless and often accidental
Listening is voluntary, focused and intentional
Mindful presence in the moment can unleash the greatest potential of self-mastery.
If you need support with this, drop into our workshop by clicking the button below.
I did promise to leave you lighter and with a smile, so here you are:
The next time a house guests asks you 'do you have a bathroom' instead of diving in with a fast response, tell them (with a serious face) you just pee in the yard...!
Have a great week, thank you for stopping by, I appreciate you.