Has anyone ever told you “You have Excellent Communication skills”?
I would argue that when someone makes that assessment they are not only referencing speaking but listening skills under the umbrella of communication.
It has been my experience that often it is the listener that has the most influence, listening is very powerful!
Active listening, demonstrating the art of giving a person your full attention is one of the most generous gifts one can give.
One of the most difficult components to listening is perception or filters. This is the way You or I hear things based on our own individual ideas about the world. One might here things one way, the other differently. We all come to the table with a unique set of ears painted by experience.
So how can one listen and respond authentically without always heavily filtering?
In my own life I do my best to practice something called "the art of the toss". There is a whole lot that goes into this philosophy on listening, but here is the short hand version.
Imagine when you communicate you are holding a ball. You and the person you are in a conversation with are tossing the ball back and forth. Whoever is speaking holds the ball, and then when the person is finished speaking, they toss the ball to the listener. So to me, the response is how you throw the ball back. Listeners have the power in how they choose to respond.
They can throw a curve ball, Hike it strait to the gut or gently volley it over the net. Regardless, the art of the toss is all about the back and forth.
I find this topic one of great interest to ponder about, in two weeks I plan to cover filters in more detail and how what we are listing "for" makes all the difference.
What are your thoughts on listening?
Lindsey Rainwater is an experienced consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry. She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping Health Club owners all over the south central region of the united states propel their business forward via group exercise solutions. For more information about Lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o