Reflections on the Lost art of Listening

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Just today I listened to you,

Share your hope, Your dreams,

your screams of hurt and inattention,

your celebrations, triumphs and success

your world as you see it, expectations and disappointments

You made me realise

In this moment You matter, not I,

To listen to all, said, but you said more,

and I heard that too

and you shortened out some words,

but I could catch that too

To view your world just not in black and white

but in full colour, resplendent of who you are

not just a visual, but to catch the sound

the feel, and most of all,

that ‘lump in the throat’ that is yours

In your sharing you left me a gift

That I could be worth ‘sharing with’

To realise that I can only offer understanding

If I understood myself

While I heard my inner voice listening to you

I realise I must ask of myself

All I have to work on is I

This has been my realisation. Thank you.

Listening is not hearing. Hearing is about what is being said. Listening is being attentive to the speaker. In listening, we are tuned in to what is being said, felt, also said, also unsaid. Listening requires us to be deep connected to the other, offering total presence and with deep awareness. Listening is not about simultaneous evaluation while the speaker is speaking, instead it is about suspending judgements or biases or pre conceptions. Notice the number of times we interrupt, sometimes even rudely. Notice how often we cut across someone else’s conversation.

When one is totally attentive – meditatively attentive, one reaches a flow of connectedness with the other. Bonding through deep listening is stronger than with just words. There is deeper understanding of silence, than that which comes from words. When as coaches we LISTEN, we acknowledge, show respect, display empathy, connect, show presence, and become deeply aware.

Listening is also to be directed to oneself: Our thoughts in our mind (24×7) does not mean we are thinking – far from it! It just means that our thoughts are ephemeral presence that last momentarily, but call us to attention all the time. They have a short shelf life, but make a huge buzz in their lifetime. In fact we are bombarded with our thoughts. Like dust debris that seeps in, they are random, and directionless. They prevent focus. They de-energise over time. Through cultivated mind discipline, ie: stilling of the mind, we can graduate towards Right Thinking. (for further reading refer to Patanjali – Yoga Sutra).

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