Often in life we can believe that what we see, hear or feel is right. Our experiences tell us that we have sensed something that is real and it is true … an unshakable fact.
We may have the following thoughts: “I know what I saw / heard” or “I am right – I know it to be a fact” or “That’s not how it was” or “He or she does not get it”.
And more often than not what we have experienced is a clear indisputable fact. But not always …
Occasionally what we have perceived or understood is not a pure scientific or provable fact. It is merely our perception or understanding. And often someone else will have a different take or perception. We may think it is a fact but it is not necessarily that simple.
I am sure at some time we have been with others who have experienced a common incident, but we do not necessarily have the same out-take or interpretation.
Being aware that others can perceive things differently is a powerful and generous skill to have.
I guess the question is: when is something a pure indisputable fact and when might it be a personal view? However by just asking that question will allow us the opportunity to check which of the two options it is, before we make an assumption which could then become a problem. In the previous edition of this newsletter I mentioned that the fifth of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits is “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”.
What we are talking about here is communication, and effective communication is a two-way process, so we had better check that we have both sides of the process. Surely that is not only polite and respectful, it is also wise. It is wise to have an open mind.
Who taught you how to listen? I do not mean just to hear something, but to truly and deeply listen. It is a real skill and something most of us are never taught properly … and yet each of us needs it every single day. Stephen Covey describes it as “empathic” listening – where we switch off our own thoughts and intentions to purely and completely focus on what someone else is saying, and how they are saying it.
You have two ears and one mouth – it may help to use them in that proportion!
My mind was really opened to this when we spent 12 weeks studying listening skills during my own coaching training 15 years ago. Now that was a paradigm shift!
So how about taking the …
Challenge of the day
Can you spend two minutes thinking about ….
When might I be able to check whether there is another view?
How do I need to think in order to listen really well?
Who might my role model be?
Imagine what could happen if you listened outstandingly well more often!
So, how are you going to listen differently?
Call me if you want to discuss this further.
Who do you know who might benefit from having their own personal or business coach?
I am, as always, happy to talk to anyone – no obligation whatsoever! Just call or email me.
To find the range of services I offer please visit:
Head Coach, Life Coach Associates
01227 278 618