When was the last time you felt genuinely listened to by another person. And when was the last time you genuinely listened to someone?
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Genuine listening happens when we are fully present for another person. When we are not distracted and can offer our full attention to what someone is saying.
It’s about taking in what they say without advising, analysing, interpreting or judging. Without needing to solve anything for them. The simple act of listening.
Many of us like to think of ourselves as good listeners, but in all honesty, too often we are waiting for our turn to speak.
Listening is highly undervalued, and yet, we all yearn for more moments when someone deeply listens to us.
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new”
~ The Dalai Lama
My coaching clients often say how helpful and restorative it is to be able to talk things through without being interrupted, without judgement. To be able to put into words what’s on their mind without needing to fix anything yet.
Often, the act of being present for others – and listening to and reflecting back what they say – is all they need in order to gain new insights, ideas or a fresh perspective on things.
When we feel listened to we feel respected and considered. We feel valued, heard and understood. It is like receiving a precious gift from someone.
Genuine listening happens when we can pay attention to every word the other person is saying. We are aware of how they look and their body language. We are not thinking about the next thing we want to say.
This allows us to enter a deeper connection with someone, to empathise with them. It can feel deeply satisfying.
“When we truly listen to someone what matters is that we allow ourselves to be human with another human being”
~ Eugene Gendlin