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Listen Up!

Happy Friday!

I love this Venn diagram from Liz and Mollie - a simple and powerful reminder to us all. As a Coach and Consultant the skill of listening and giving others space to talk without interruption is a non-negotiable. My view is that it is crucial for every one of us, to help us truly understand others and to form, cement and build relationships in our work and in our life.

If you encounter someone who cuts you off, talks over you, finishes your sentences, is distracted or jumps in with their view and opinion before you have finished sharing yours; it's really important that you give them the feedback to help them see the impact this has for you. Quite often people will say to me 'that's just how they are, they always do this'. My view is that's because it's not addressed and sometimes that involves the person finding the courage and confidence to feedback in order to be heard.

Sometimes it's a blind-spot for the other person, sometimes it's passion, excitement, frustration or impatience that they find hard to contain and for others it's their way of contributing to the discussion in the moment. Some find it really hard to do break this and listening is a skill that takes time and patience to develop. I am still learning and reflecting on how I can do this better and better.

The biggest and brightest nugget of gold my mentor gave me very early on in my consulting career was this....

Enjoy the silence - give others the space they deserve, give others the time to reflect on their answers to your questions. Appreciate that silence helps them to process and formulate their emotions, thoughts and feelings into their response.

With some clients I work with, 'the silence' can be a very long time - the key is to respect this space and to hold this space for them.

I have supported many clients over the years to develop their skill of listening and over recent years I have worked closely with Leaders and Managers to help them develop their skill of empathetic listening (this really came to the fore during the pandemic and I focus on this more and more in my work with clients).

Have a great weekend and Happy Half Term too! 🎃


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