Better Parents: The Importance Of Listening
I was chatting to a gentleman recently who had attended one of our Better Parents Ask Better Questions seminars. He had attended with his wife and they were kindly taking some time to provide their positive feedback about the session. They outlined to me how they had never really been conscious of the ‘asking’ versus the ‘telling’ space before and now felt that they would be able to make much better choices about the style of communication that they chose with their daughter going forward.
As we were chatting the gentleman stopped mid sentence and pointed out to me that he had noticed that whilst we were talking my head was tilted slightly to the side which he said made him feel that he was really being listened to. He asked if that was something that I did deliberately to make him feel understood, and whilst I acknowledged that it was a good thing, I indicated to him that it was something that I now did naturally when I had made a decision to really listen to someone. He went on to say that it wasn’t something he had noticed anyone else do when they were listening and that, for him, it had made him feel quite special as it was VERY clear that he was indeed being listened to.
Whilst at one level it made me feel good because I knew that I had had a positive impact on the gentleman, it also made me think that it was sad that he hadn’t really experienced this level of listening before, or certainly not in a conscious way. For those of you that have attended my seminars you will know that I always say that before you can be a Better Questioner you must choose to be a better listener, because if you aren’t listening there is no point questioning. This level of listening in essence is easy to do, it just takes a conscious choice and awareness of certain traps that we can fall into, and the level of listening you bring is quite unique and special to most people.
Indeed, I truly believe that it is this level of listening that gives people permission to tap into their resourcefulness and wisdom, because you are indicating to them that what they have to say will be heard and is important. Unfortunately in most conversations this isn’t the premise for the conversation and the listener is usually focused on what they are going to say next or making themselves look good, and so the speaker is not made to feel listened to or important. By putting into practice the tips we share about truly listening you will be amazed what a positive impact this has on other people.
So, I hope that you recognise that fundamental to being a successful Better Questioner is the level of listening you bring to the conversation. If you can make the other person feel really heard, you are giving them permission to shine, which means you are well on your way to being a Potentilaiser and releasing the other person’s 'amazingness'!