Listening is one of the most powerful things we can do. It is also very challenging. It seems strange that it is difficult. A quote that came to me recently illustrates the challenge;
“listening is the willingness to change” ~anonymous.
Say it to yourself a few times.
Let it sink in.
How could that be?
If we are only interacting to have it our way or to keep things the same, then we are either on offense or defense. We are defending or attacking a position. We are only trying to forward our position. We are not listening.
Listening takes softness, openness, a willingness to be moved or changed by the other person. Active listening wants to know more, be more changed, be more inspired.
When I am working with someone the best moments are when I don’t know, where I don’t see, where I ask the deeper question. The moments that are most profound in my work with people are preceded by my internal voice saying I don’t know, I have no idea how to resolve this, to move forward, that is when the great questions get asked and the ice breaks and there is transformation, insight, illumination.
Catch yourself in conversation, in debate, in guiding or teaching or whatever interactions you have with others, even with yourself. Are you listening? Are you willing to be changed?