Imagine your ability to communicate is taken away from you... How would you feel? How would you deliver your messages to others? How would you receive information from others? And how would you store that information you receive? Which is what we call "listening".
This imagination might help you understand the importance of communication a bit more, especially the importance of listening.
If you ask my opinion, I want to live in a world where we pay attention not only to the way we communicate and deliver our messages but also to the way we listen to each other.
Because according to neuroscience, the part of our brain, amygdala, protects us from all possible threats, including the emotional threats. So we all want to be heard, seen, appreciated and we want to be safe with others. And it's important that we know how to do it when we are listening to each other. Because unfortunately we don't know how to listen. There is no specific training or a manual teaching us how to listen, what to do and what to avoid when we listen. Listening skills are not taught at schools either.
But thanks to the science of communication we have some very powerful tools and strategies that'll help you improve your listening skills, your attention, respect and presence for others so that they feel appreciated and safe when communicating with you. And when they feel safe and heard, they will want to share more with you and as you improve your listening skills, you'll be able to give them the gift of Neuro-Shine Moments™ that are absolutely transformational in your conversations.
And here are six strategies to improve your listening skills that we use in the field of coaching:
1. Practice Silence and Space:
I used to feel weird in the presence of silence in my conversations with others. But I have learned over the years in my coaching practice that silence is actually very beneficial and needed for both the other person to process the information that's being shared.
2. Eye Contact:
Eye contact makes people feel safe, welcome and appreciated. We feel like what we are saying is important when there is eye contact during the conversation. You'd feel appreciated if you were given the gift of an eye contact, wouldn't you? So then, let's give that gift to others as well.
3. Body Language:
Body language reveals even the things we don't want to say. According to the communication science, body language consists of 55% of HOW you are saying. And in the case of listening, 55% of how you are listening. So when you pay attention to people's body language, you can get deeper in their world and hear more than what their saying, like their energy and emotions.
Empathy is a part of your emotional intelligence skills. It's your ability to get out of your own agenda, your own consciousness and to literally become the other person and see things from their perspective as you are listening to them.
5. Powerful Questions:
To better listen and better understand what you are hearing, you want to be able to ask open-ended, powerful questions. Powerful questions are not like your everyday transactional questions. They are transformational. They make the speaker think and go deeper within their world to clarify their own decision. And that's where the transformation is. That's where the Neuro-Shine Moment™ is, helping you master your listening skills. Where awareness becomes the truth.
6. Mental Follow-up:
Think of a purple elephant right now. You just did it, right? You saw a purple elephant in your mind's eye that was not visually available as an input to your brain. This is the power of your mind! And this is how you can listen to others. By turning their words into pictures and sounds and creating an imaginary world inside your mind! This will eliminate all the distractions you might have in your mind, like the projects you want to think or the things you need to do as you are listening to someone and it'll also help you align with what is being said to you.
I hope you liked these six strategies and I hope you'll practice them all and improve your listening skills. And please share this with your friends so that we can all become better listeners for each other.
And make this world a better place, with more LOVE ❤️ and #ShinyMinds .
Warm hugs 🤗
Shiny Burcu Unsal
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