Do you feel heard?
As I tour the country giving lectures on mindful leadership practices to corporate clients, I hear a similar struggle about communication in the workplace. Daily meetings feel like a verbal battle to express your thoughts. You may leave a company meeting or sales call feeling uncertain if any one heard you, remembered your pitch, or even wanted to be present.
What we can learn from the magical airplane passenger
Have you met the magical airplane passenger? Initially, they look like everyone else, scrambling at the gate for a position in line to guarantee overhead space for their slightly overstuffed carry-on bag. Once they take a seat, the magic unfolds. ou tell them your life dream or secret crush. By the end of the flight, all the surrounding passengers have confided in exchange for a dose of magic.
What is the magic? The feeling that you are seen heard and acknowledged. At the core of this magic trick is compassion. Bringing this compassion to communication is done through a mindful practice of gracious listening.
How Can We Be Mindful In Our Conversations?
While mindfulness teaches us to be present in the current moment, we do this by connecting to breath. How can take this simple act of presence into our daily conversations? We can give a gift of compassion to others with gracious listening.
What is gracious listening? Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen describes gracious listening as listening with your heart.
How do we listen with our heart?
1. Make eye contact:
For me, that meant listening to the person while making eye contact. Too often our smart phones get in the way of this. f I am on the phone, I try not to multitask, tweet, and check emails. The greatest gift we can give is putting our smartphones away.
2. Listening without judgment:
Being mindful while listening means allowing the person to express their thoughts fully. While we are listening, we should not be formulating an answer in our heads.
3. Ask for more:
How do we stop from injecting our own opinions and stories? Ask, “tell me more.” One father of four daughters shared a great phrase with me, “how did that make you feel?” Once you ask these questions, be present and listen.
4. Allow negative emotions to surface:
If the person who is speaking to you is feeling frustrated, allow them to feel their emotions. Do not jump in and try to “diagnose and fix the problem”. Instead, cue that person to take a deep breath by just taking a deep breath yourself.
Is there a situation where someone told you they didn’t feel heard? Do you feel that your thoughts are not being allowed to be expressed?
To be heard, we must first stop and listen. @DrRomie #Compassion #Mindful LeadershipTweet This
I hold the intention that this lesson will serve as a reminder to stop, breathe, and listen graciously to colleagues at work.
Do you feel heard?
I hear you, and I see you.