What is Listening with the Heart?

What is Really Listening?

Third-ear listening is connecting and engaging with another human being on an emotional, or even spiritual level.

I like how Ann Hart, CEO of Breakthrough Coaching explains it: “If you really want to connect, understand, and influence other people you need the power of listening from the heart. What I mean by heart is NOT the idea of something weak or emotional. The heart energy is actually a source of strength and balance in the body. The heart is a brain [actually your whole body is a brain], far more powerful than the head brain. If you really want to connect, you are going to need the empathetic power of the heart”.

Some of you left-brained people are skeptical about now, right?

But once you “get it” you will understand the power of managing and listening from the heart.

Because bottom line is everyone has a deep desire to be heard and understood. This type of listening strengthens teamwork, reduces stress and conflict, and has many other benefits. It is especially unifying for people who work together.

So What to Do?

Normally we interrupt, ask questions, or offer advice on the outside while on the inside our internal dialogue is preparing for what we’re going to say in response (or we’re judging, etc.). Heart listening requires none of this. Be balanced and neutral; the less you say the better. When you put all your attention on someone else, something very profound changes. Carl Rogers, the famous psychologist, was known for his skill of listening with “positive regard”.

Deep listening is about paying attention. It’s a process of truly hearing and understanding another’s point of view. It sounds simple but it’s not or we would be better at it. We have to learn to listen through another’s “map”, not your own. Put this person first. This “soft” skill has to be the most important skill you can have!

As a coach I constantly work on listening, refining and practicing all the time. It’s hard to suspend the internal dialogue when listening. Plus I get a great thought or suggestion and I’m afraid I’ll forget it by the time they are finished speaking!! We all have our reasons. But I’ve found you need to understand another’s thoughts, feelings, and their “TWIST” (The Way I See Things). It can’t be from your point of view!

In Conclusion

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, nailed it when he said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

Next month we’ll explore WHY we don’t listen but for now I have an offer! If you have read all the way down here, and you know what habit # is Covey’s “Seek to understand not to be understood”, shoot me a reply and I’ll send the first person a signed copy of my book, The Good Bus, and others the ebook.


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