Harnessing the Influence of Power Listening for Business and Relational Success
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
Stephen R. Covey
It’s better to understand than to be understood…in business, in relationships, in life.
We all have a secret power that allows us to be better leaders, managers, business people…better people in general! The power of listening with an open mind and a willing heart is at the center of all successful relationships, whether at home or at work. When we fail to listen powerfully, we are almost certain to miss opportunities to build meaningful bonds, relationships and successful business performance. In order to respond in a way that develops trust and understanding, we first need to listen – fully.
Many of us think we can listen without really trying. Often, though, we are merely hearing – picking up sound through our ears. Additionally, most of us fall into the trap of listening more closely to what we want to hear.
Power Listening is different. It requires focus, concentration, effort and emotional awareness of our selves and of the speaker.
We’re not talking about social listening – the back and forth of conversation that builds social rapport but not necessarily a deep understanding. What we’re talking about is listening much more mindfully; so rare in business and often missing in relationships we mean to honor and cherish. Mindful listening is essential for interpersonal and business success.
This kind of listening is challenging. It asks us to participate in a conversation even while remaining silent. It requires us to truly engage with someone else, putting aside our own concerns or agenda and giving them our total focus. In other words, to listen with body, mind and heart. Most of us aren’t taught to function in this way. In a business context, we may focus first on our own functional agenda, our own interests, our own point of view; while in personal relationships, we often slip into being driven by our emotional needs, sometimes forgetting to truly listen to what our partner is telling us.
The good news is that deep and powerful listening can be learned.
We can learn how to pause, focus and turn up our ears, our hearts, our ‘felt-sense’ of what is being conveyed. When we do, magic can happen.
Often, as coaches we’re asked, “How’d you know that?” The answer is invariably, “You told us!” In words, gestures, and that intangible something from within that is observable and alive when we allow ourselves to truly receive. When we do Power Listen, we learn what is going on in the hearts and minds of our colleagues, teams and clients, enabling us to make better decisions, gain greater buy-in and commitment, and help our individuals and teams perform at ever higher levels.
Power Listening is simple, but It is not always easy.
And it can’t be faked. If we don’t believe in the value of listening, people will see through whatever skills we acquire. Our impatience, frustration, and insincerity will speak volumes. On the other hand, recognizing and valuing the incredible benefits to be gained from a deeper level of listening arms us with a powerful tool to build our relationships and deliver results.
Power Listening produces rich, deeply meaningful relationships which support a closeness that is the essential quality of life. So listen closely…you’ll be amazed at what you learn.
Connect with us for more information – we can work with you individually, or with your Teams!