Mindful Listening

1) Embrace the silence

Do not be uncomfortable with silence. Embrace the silence and use the opportunity to truly listen to the other person. 

 

Best Practice:

· Don’t fill the gap with empty words.

· Let the conversation flow naturally. Think of silence as a “sacred pause.”

· Allow yourself to focus and think about what it is actually being said and give yourself time to come up with a meaningful response during the "sacred pause."

 

2) Don't assume

When we listen to people, we come up with biased assumptions in our head. We use our past experiences and stereotypes so we can comprehend things better. It is normal, but be cautious. This is when Awareness is key!

 

Best Practice:

· Don’t let your own brain’s judgment haze the experience. If you are trying to understand where someone is coming from, don’t try and change what he or she mean by saying things like, “Oh you mean you choose to do it this way.” In its place, ask questions like, “Can you explain that to me again?"

 

3) Don’t think about what to say next...

If you dislike silence, you will try to formulate what you are going to say when someone stops talking. However, this causes us to not listen to what someone is saying.

 

Best Practice:

When you notice yourself preparing your answer, acknowledge, let go, and focus on what they are saying.

 

Practice!

Next time you have an opportunity to speak to someone, ask a few of these questions and just listen:).

 

1) What’s your story?

This is a great starting question that can inspire a meaningful answer.

 

 

2) What are you passionate about

The person answering will usually be excited as it is what they are passionate about. 

 

3) If I really knew you, what would I know about you?

An open-ended question that allows the person to go as deep as they want. 

 

4) What currently in your life makes you feel the most fulfilled?

This is a great question that gets people thinking about what really makes them feel happy. 

 

5) What’s a story of yours that you do not get to tell often enough?

This can really get someone talking if he or she have got a story they are itching to tell.