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Learning to Listen and Learn for Greater Other - Awareness

Sometimes I feel so inadequate in actually grasping the stories of others.

In my excitement of life, it requires me to slow down, to become more aware of what is going on inside of me and then shifting my focus to become more curious and to truly listen to those around me.

People aren't used to not so much being listened to as to being heard. I find it easy to listen and yet to miss what someone is truly saying. I also know what it is like to be asked a question and then to be brushed off by the demeanour of another person. I leave the conversation with slouched shoulders, squished heart and stuck. I also know what it feels like to be heard by another person. I leave that conversation walking on air, inspired, loved , ready to take on the next challenge.

Two thoughts to becoming more aware of others.

  1. Curiosity

STORY - I love to be asked about various parts of my story. It allows me to be seen. I am now affirmed beyond my knowing, that I am seen as someone by another.

As I entered the world of coaching and facilitating I felt challenged by the concept of curiosity. A part of my history and story is that I was born in an era when 'children were seen and not heard.' Fortunately for me, my parents encouraged my questions and oh, did I and do I have questions! As I learned to ask questions that were curious, I had to learn again what it means to be a child. To be filled with simple wonder that would make me ask in a spirit of simple wonderment rather than judgement. Find that space and ask for someone's story.

2. How do I listen? Let me count the ways!

Just a simple reminder about listening to ponder as we seek to hear others stories.

There are three levels of listening.

a. Level One - I see your mouth moving and I hear a sound but honestly you remind me that I want to tell you this!

In other words, your story reminds me of my story!

Level Two - I am focused and amazed at your story and keep wanting to ask questions that make sure I am getting what you are telling me!

In other words, your story is so about you, I am loving it!

Level Three - I am feeling, seeing, hearing,even smelling and tasting this conversation on so many levels.

In other words, my curiosity is at a peak to not just know but understand all that you are saying. What does this mean to you?

Oh how we need Level Three listeners who affirm and journey with us. Whose story will you hear with Level Three listening this week. Let me know what comes of that level of conversation.

"Surround yourself...with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don't see it yourself." Edmund Lee

For those of you who say you love Jesus, reread Psalm 139 and there you have it, written for you by God.

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A great reminder and encouragement for us all! I think we are all guilty of the nodding head and um-huming and then not having a clue what the person just said. Perhaps there is a call for us to be more mindful and intentional when speaking as well... not indulging ourselves in endless monologue, but being aware of others' reactions...noting when they may well be resonating with our story and giving them an onramp to participate in dialogue, which includes active, curious listening as well as engaging conversation.

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