You don’t listen.
I don’t listen either.
Because listening suggests we’re hearing what’s being said. Most of the time we’re not hearing what’s being said at all.
And you’re already off in the weeds because you’re thinking, “the reason we’re not listening is because we’re thinking about what to say next.”
I didn’t even have to say it, and already you’re leaning on something familiar. Your mind is making familiar connections it has probably made thousands of times.
At no point in this post was I going to suggest we don’t listen because we’re thinking about what we we’re going to say next.
What I wish to share is this:
It is possible to come from a new space of listening. And from that space, you won’t automatically jump to what’s familiar.
When it comes to listening, most people will say, “I’ve been listening my whole life. Therefore, I am a master at listening.”
But if you’re coming from a place of judgement saying “I like this, I don’t like this. I agree with this, I don’t agree with this. I think it’s good, I think it’s bad.” Basically, you’re not hearing anything.
And that’s the greatest challenge of listening. Most people are off somewhere else in their minds.
Let me demonstrate this. I could bring up any subject and instantly your mind goes somewhere. Here’s a good example – influence.
I say influence, and instantly your mind goes to, “influence ripples out like a pebble being dropped in a still pond.”
The challenge is you’re still thinking of the pebble. You’re not even hearing what I’m saying anymore, because you’re associating influence with something familiar, something you already know. And that’s firing up all manner of neuropathways in your mind. I’ve lost you.
First and foremost, the best thing to practice is to listen from nothing. If we can listen from nothing, we can hear what’s truly being said.
The magic of listening, though, comes from consciously choosing where to listen from.
You can listen from, “what is this person’s need or desire – how can I help them?”
You can listen from, “what’s the opportunity here – there’s got to be a win-win.”
You can listen from, “I want to make this moment even better than it is.”
You can listen from anywhere.
But first, you’ve got to be able to listen from nothing. Once you’ve mastered that, you can begin listening from a place you consciously choose and tap into the unlimited possibilities and opportunities that exist. That’s the magic of listening.
Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.
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