ISC launched in September with a focus on Sacred Listening – the heart of spiritual counseling. To truly listen to another person with our whole being – embodied, fully present, with vulnerability and a willingness to be changed by what we hear – is perhaps the most powerful gift we can give another. The Listening Center (sacredlistening.com) offers a Top Ten List of Powerful Listening Practices for deep listening. Simple...yet rarely easy!
Top Ten Powerful Listening Practices
1. Stop talking: One person speaks at a time. One of the most irritating listening habits is that of interrupting.
2. Pause before speaking: Allow the person who is speaking time to complete their thought, then wait a few seconds before responding. Another variation on this is to ask, “Is there anything else?” There almost always is.
3.Listen to yourself:
Be in touch with your inner wisdom, the inner teacher, the voice for Source. Try asking yourself, “What wants to be said next?” (instead of “What do I want to say next?”)
4. Listen for understanding: You do not have to agree with what you hear, or even believe it, to listen to understand the other person.
5. Ask for clarification: If you do not understand what someone is saying, just ask.
6. Let the speaker know that you have heard them: Body language: nodding, facial expressions, sounds.
7. Be patient and present: Listening well takes time and your presence. Choose someone to practice listening to more deeply.
8. Listen with an open mind: Be curious and appreciative of what you are listening to. Listen for new ideas instead of judging and evaluating. Be vulnerable and willing to be surprised by what you hear.
9. Pay attention to the environment: Stop what you are doing to listen. Turn off background noise when possible; move to a quieter corner of the room; clear your desk.
10. Listen with empathy and compassion: Put your agenda aside for the moment. Put yourself in the other’s shoes. Practice “not knowing” as you listen.
It only takes one minute a day to...
Spend at least one minute each day intentionally silent.
Ask yourself, “What is emerging now? What wants to be said or done now?” Then wait for your inner wisdom.
Spend at least one minute per day aware of what you are doing for each second.