Are You Still Listening to Me?

I listen for a living. That’s part of what my work entails. I actively listen to the things that are said and the things that go unspoken. There’s an art to listening. I learned a long time ago that most people listen to respond to the ideas that someone else is speaking to them. Yet, some of the most profound things we hear and learn are not the things that come out of our mouths, but the things that come from listening to other people speak.

I am often asked how it is that I talk to people all day. I go on to correct people that it’s not me who’s usually doing the talking. I think that surprises people because typically we think communicating is going back and forth with our words. But, communication is listening with our whole selves—our eyes, our ears and sometimes our bodies, too. When we do that we meet people where they are. That’s why I call listening an art form. It isn’t done 1 way nor perfectly and definitely you make mistakes, but hopefully you get another chance to begin again when you do “mess up.”

Asha Tarry
Asha Tarry, Life Coach

I believe that talking and listening has its moments of giving and taking but the most beautiful thing that comes from it changes all the time. Have you ever listened to something you’ve heard dozens of times, for example a song, and one day you realized you’d never heard a certain line before? Or you noticed an innuendo that you missed earlier on? That’s exactly what I mean.

The next time you begin to practice the art of communicating, begin by listening and using these devices to tune all the way in:

      • Put your phone down or turn off the computer and t.v. and look directly into the eyes of the person you are talking with.
      • Breathe while tuning into what you hear from the other person. You might begin to feel something you didn’t know was there before, either from you or them.
      • When they’ve paused, ask 1 probing question to elicit more information or clarify something you may not have understood.
      • After you hear them say something that stood out for you reflect what you heard (as naturally as possible).

These may seem like simple things or things you do already but as a person who helps people communicate wants and needs in their relationships these are the most common areas in the breakdown of communication that creates tension in relationships. Try these out in your next face to face dialogue, then post here what that experience felt like.

*This blog is about becoming free. It’s a reflection of introspective thoughts and experiences that have crossed miles of self-discovery. I created this blog to inspire others to live life with less self-criticism, judgment and openness to new experiences. May you find that you learn how to live a life by design and on your own terms!*

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