Listening is a skill few seem to have anymore. Can you listen? Really listen, in business and in life?
When your clients (internal or external) are speaking, are you giving them your undivided attention? Or are you editing everything they’re saying and preparing and answer before they’ve even finished? Do you know that being fully present for just 2 minutes with someone talking to you can change a life? Next time you are speaking to a client, look them in the eye, put down the phone or computer you’re absorbed in, and just listen to what they’re saying. Most of the time what comes out of people’s mouths isn’t really what’s going on. You need to read between the lines and pick up clues from their body language and facial expressions. You can’t do that when you have 20 other things on your mind and looking down at your device making notes. Two minutes, that’s all, try it today.
What about your when your friends are talking. Do you truly listen and let them vent, or do you chip in the second they stop to reflect and then make the whole story about you? Let them finish speaking. Let there be a silence between you so they can have time to gather their thoughts. Are you then offering all kinds of advice and telling them what to do, or helping them come up with their own solution? Questions like “what are you going to do” versus “you need to do XYZ” opens people to their own wisdom and solutions.
What about your internal dialogue? Do you know that every single one of us has an internal guidance system just waiting for our command and wanting to share the secrets of the universe with you? But if you’re constantly drowning out that voice of wisdom with all the distractions we love to justify to ourselves, you will be ever searching for something. And because you can’t hear that voice, you hold other people and situations accountable for your happiness. Then when they don’t comply with your demands, they fall out of favour, you leave them and blame them for your misery. No-one and nothing can “complete you”. You are already complete.
Be still. Listen. Remember.