– yours, mine, ours collectively!
Unfortunately, however, from my experience and observations in business and in life over the past seven years, I have found it to be the least understood and utilised of all theleadership, management and dare I say it, even human skills. Sadly, as a result, there are serious, negative consequences for people, relationships, organisations and society.
It’s true, our lives are noisy these days and it can be hard, in fact virtually impossible at times, to hear the voice inside – the voice that knows, the voice that simply does have the answer. As a manager or leader (in an organisation or in a family), it is the inner voice of both yourself and others that needs to be drawn out. That voice – whether it is mine, yours or the voice of the collective – needs to be nurtured, like a spark being fanned to a flame.
Because that voice, the one that is constantly being drowned out, is the voice of truth, courage, potential and purpose and it holds the wisdom for the highest potential for the future.
How do you draw it out?
By listening. Through the deep and generative power of listening.
Not just listening with our ears because the fact that they are attached to the side of our head seems to limit them to only being able to listen to what is contained between them! The information that we gather by listening through our ears only is driven from conditioned and narrow patterns of thinking that are relevant to and for us only! We disregard the other person in the equation. (Level 1 Listening). We need, rather to learn to listen from a more empowering place, a place where we direct our attention outwards to listen to what the other person is really saying (Level 2 Listening) and not just what we think they are saying (as we hear it relevant to us only). A deeper listening comes from listening with our hearts wide open, a place where we can really feel, sense and experience the other person, or people, and what is truly going on for them (Level 3 Listening). When we listen from this place, we have an opportunity to go deeper still and listen from a place that operates from the belief that the highest potential exists and wants to emerge – all it needs is for the listener to believe in it and to create the space for it to come out (Level 4 Listening). The listening that occurs from this place, allows the highest potential to emerge – not just for the person being listened to but for also for the greater good.
Did you recognise your own listening skill level as you read through this? Think about where you listen from in different situations – talking with a loved one, managing the performance of a challenging employee, in a team meeting, in a negotiation, as an interviewer, with a child? Which level do you operate at and how does that impact the outcome for all?
Profound change and authentic leadership can only emerge from developing the skill of deeper listening and it is a journey to deepen our listening skills from a place of judgement and conditioned thought (Level 1 Listening) to listening for and allowing the highest potential to emerge (Level 4 Listening). But it is what is needed right now for potential to flourish, for conflicts to be healed, for performance to be managed, for talent to be developed and for authentic communication and relationships to be built.
If you do want to learn more about Listening, we will be diving deeply into practising it on my upcoming Advanced Coaching Skills Programme – to enable Profound Change and Leadership Development, http://nadinemccarthy.ie/