“The way we listen, can communicate acceptance or rejection.“
Mindfulness at Work – Mindful Listening
When someone is speaking to you, see if you can pay attention and not interrupt until the other person is completely finished speaking.
Notice when your mind begins to wander off, thinking about what you need to do later that day, some grievance from the past, the brilliant counter-argument that you want to make, or wherever else it may go.
When this happens, just become aware of it, then intentionally bring your attention back to listening. Remember, when people feel listened to, not only do they feel more connected to you, they also feel less on guard or defensive.
This creates the space for a much more fruitful dialogue and connection. It also opens you up to take in so much more of what the other person is saying, since the invaluable resource of your attention is no longer as devoted to what’s going on in your head.
In doing this practice, you may find that you take in much more of life than you used to. See if you can practice this with an attitude of interest.
When the person has finished speaking, take a breath before you respond.
Remember, you won’t be perfect at this, so every time you aren’t able to listen mindfully, forgive yourself and use that moment as an insight to strengthen your practice of listening mindfully. You may do this again and again.
G Ross Clark
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