Sunday, June 15, 2008

Listen UP

"You can't TALK anyone out of anything, but you can LISTEN them out of it."

This "biblical" phrase is one of the best pieces of advice I've ever received. It was ushered by my LOVELY momma, but originates with Harvey Jackins, a brilliant man who developed a technology called "Reevaluation Counseling" to help people (re)discover their own brilliance and move out of distress.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the power of LISTENING and about the fact that it DOESN'T come easily to most of us and thus, doesn't happen often.

I am a culprit of non-listening too. As a natural-born sales gal, I get paid to develop arguments to PERSUADE other folks to:

  • think a certain way way;
  • see my point of view; and
  • take my advice!

But...I've been wondering if -based on Harvey's insight - there might be a better way.

  • When was the last time you felt like someone truly listened to you?
  • When was the last time you stayed silent in the face of critique?
  • When was the last time you waited (1 whole minute) before responding?
Try it!

LISTENING is hard AND it's really helpful. It enlivens a conversation and helps people RELAX. Good listening makes the listener and the "listenee" feel connected, respected, and heard.

We're ALL wedded to our opinions, our prejudices, our points of view (especially by our late thirties!) but this doesn't mean that we need to fight for the most "airtime," all the time.

Instead, try being silent. Try listening carefully and genuinely to what your members, clients, customers, employees, supervisors, co-workers, and even strangers have to say. See what happens.



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