Sunday, August 8, 2010

Deep Listening

Last week I walked to the Tofu House to meet a friend. We hadn’t talked in person in about a year, but we always connect immediately when we get together. We seem to have enough common threads to listen, give some suggestions, and share personal experiences. You might say we communicate at the surface level and then have a deeper conversation. Good friends can often get beyond their own interests in the conversation and listen to a friend. At this level where most friends converse, each person is thinking more about what they are going to say than about the meaning behind the other person’s words.

Today after a long walk, I had fun getting together with my sister to go shopping. We had errands to run and things to do. We talked and listened at the surface level. We talked about what we needed to do and where we wanted to go. We accomplished everything we had planned to do. We talked and listened at the surface level because that was what was needed.

We have conversations everyday with friends and acquaintances. We usually say hello and share a little news and information. Most of our conversations are at the surface level. Occasionally we are fortunate enough to have a relationship with someone who cares enough to have a deeper conversation. They take the time to listen. A deeper conversation with a good friend would include listening, sharing, and caring what the other person has to say. At this level, most of us are thinking about where we fit in the conversation, what advise we have to give, and what does this have to do with us.

A “Walk About You” conversation with a personal/career coach would be at the surface level conversation and deeper listening. You can take a walk while talking on the phone with a coach who cares about what you have to say. Walking while talking to a LifeWork Coach will increase confidence and communication skills.

If you find that you would like to go a little deeper, you can hire a LifeWork Coach to take the conversation to the next level. As a professional LifeWork Coach I have been trained in deep listening. Deep listening goes below surface listening to caring about who the person really is. As author of “The Fifth Discipline” Peter Senge states it:

“Deep listening is beyond the conversation. Listening to who the person is underneath the conversation is deep listening. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light, which the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow your mind's hearing to your ears' natural speed and hear beneath the words to their meaning." [Huffington Post - Jul 12 2010]

Walking outdoors provides so many opportunities for listening. Opening your ears to the many voices of nature will help alert your senses to what is below the surface.

To learn more about the benefits of LifeWork Coaching and Deep Listening, contact Nancy Miller, LifeWork Coach.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry, I had to read that first paragraph several times to see where I fit in the friendship levels - the middle or the end! Well, I try to listen more deeply, but often battle thinking of my next words. Sometimes I lose the battle, and later get the deeper meaning of a friend's words. I hope this later contemplation helps offset the natural tendency towards self.


Share your walking experiences.