Growing up we're taught to listen to answer.
When our parents asked us something as children, they'd be looking for an answer - this might even be emphasised with an 'answer me!'
And teachers don't tend to ask rhetorical questions in the classroom, nor do managers later in life.
Soon, we're copying this behaviour, seen in the adults we grew up around, and we jump in to answer, even if the question isn’t even aimed at us, or if a friend expresses a problem, we might say: "I know what you should do!"
That’s the art of conversation, after all, isn’t it? To listen and then respond, right?
But, what if there was a different way to respond? A different type of answer?
What I’m about to tell you is a game-changer.
It’ll change your relationships – with your friends, your family, your partner, your colleagues and even with yourself.
It’ll prevent you from falling into old, familiar patterns of arguing and interacting. It’ll strengthen your connections, it’ll educate you far more than any advice, it’ll breed greater understanding and it’ll make you instantly more likeable and popular.
And it’s a super simple formula - but just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy!
Next time you’re in conversation with someone, don’t listen to answer, don’t listen to fix, don’t listen to find a solution or give advice or even share your opinion.
Listen to understand.
What are they wanting to communicate? What are they trying to express? What’s going on for them? What does their reality look like? Why are they sharing this? What are they needing and what are they wanting from you?
And if you’re dying to jump in with your own words, let them be curious questions instead, or by repeating what you heard to make sure you understood what they were trying to say.
Listening to answer is not the art of conversation. It’s the art of making the conversation about you and your cleverness.
Listening to understand is the true art of caring conversations, of deepening and strengthening communications, relationships and connections.
What's the story you tell yourself, and is it helpful or hindering?
Remember though, with whatever I, or anyone else shares, take what you like and leave the rest because it's your life and, therefore, your choice of how to live it.
After all, this is the Manual of YOU!
Until next time, take care, stay safe - and sane - and make kind choices!
#CultureOfImperfection #GenerousContribution #RadicalKindness #EthicalLiving #ConnectingCommunities #ReframingNarratives #TheManualOfYou #YourLifeYourChoice
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