Do you ever think much about listening? I’m curious, do you listen differently depending on the situation or the person?
I asked my clients for testimonials and several of the responses were along the theme of how I am a good listener (pretty great to hear!!).
This got me thinking about the different ways I listen. Some of it has to do with the various roles I have and what the expectations and needs are of the people around me. But I think a lot of it has to do with how listening and understanding gives me deep fulfillment.
We all have to listen; sometimes even when we don’t want to (I’ll gladly trade places with someone if they want to hear about my youngest son’s dreams last night!! They go on and on and on and on… my mom would say that is payback from when I was a child! 👶).
What do you think? Do you listen differently… here are the ways I listen:
With My Coaching Clients
This is about listening without judgment. It’s about creating a space that is indisputably safe. We all want to be heard, and in a coaching session the chance to share something that is vulnerable or scary is often the most valuable thing of all.
This type of listening comes with training and learning how to move past my empathetic nature into being a resource and a safe-haven. This isn’t just something I happened to be good at; it’s also an important aspect of what I learned as part of my certification with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
If you think about it, most of the time when we’re talking, we kind of already know (or think we know) what the other person is going to say or at least how they’re going to react. How much of what we’re sharing at any given moment is influenced by the person that we’re talking to? I’m not saying that this is bad or good, but with coaching, it’s neutral and non-judgmental. It’s important to me that my clients feel and notice this.
With My Kids
I listen for opportunities to parent – yes, I made that a verb (cause it’s work!). The funny stories about lunchroom antics are tinged with the “mom” perspective as my boys tell me what happened with the apple sauce (inevitably ending up on someone’s shirt, of course). Not that every conversation turns into a lecture, but being a parent definitely increases the likelihood that listening to your little human could turn out to be a teachable moment. Sometimes the teachings are, um, audibly louder than others, but let’s just call that exercising my vocal range!
It’s a relaxed listening ~ a place for commonalities to emerge and laughter to bubble up. It’s about shared experiences and making memories and reveling in the uniqueness of what drew us together in the first place. It’s about the ball of the thoughts bouncing energetically back and forth between us; lobbed with love and respect and knowing that it’s a choice to be there.
With My Design and Website Clients
I listen to make sense of their needs. With graphics and website projects, people often start in the middle and begin spouting random ideas. I have to parse out what’s really important and then create a plan of action. I take the jumble of thoughts and narrow down the focus, so that we have an agreed upon thing that I’m going to creatively produce. It’s a very inquisitive way of listening that requires my creative side to automatically engage because very often, clients are looking for guidance in the moment and it has to result in an output, such as a website or new brochure. This is why that business name is Create On Call ~ cause I do it as it’s needed.
I think this type of active and response-driven listening is what gave me confidence to see myself as a coach. I was already used to being 100%-all-in while talking with people – focused, concentrating, but not controlling the dialog or outcome.
The beauty in listening is that it’s a new adventure every time ~ you never quite know where you’re going to end up.
I like to listen and pause.
I don’t just want to hear words and comment.
There’s so much value in taking in someone else’s thoughts and then letting them sit a moment. Why do we feel such a need to respond right away? What are you trying to prove with a quick retort? What if you take away the ego of being right or “better” (whatever that even means)?
Are you listening just so you can talk next?
One of my favorite aspects of Toastmasters (the international speaking organization of which I’m a member) is the evaluation part of the meetings when members give reports about different things that happened in the meeting. The speaking is impromptu and you must comment and give feedback on what occurred. It requires incredible focus and attention during the meeting, and it’s so fulfilling both giving the feedback and being on the receiving end.
There’s nothing quite like listening to someone with 100% interest ~ and nothing vested in your response.
Are you listened to?
Do you have a truly safe, non-judgmental place to express your thoughts and feelings?
Is that missing from your life?
Having a coach is so totally different from any other relationship you’ve ever experienced.
It’s a form of being listened to that you may have never known before. I know this personally from having a coach and because that is what my clients have told me.
I give you permission to be heard. I take what’s rolling and looping and cluttering up your mind and heart and create a space for it to be released.
It’s special and powerful.
I’m asking for you to consider if that type of being listened to could fit in your life.
If you want to:
- Feel understood
- Vent with purpose
- Manage negative emotions and thoughts
- Truly be heard
- Not worry about being judged
- Need accountability
- Create a plan
Then having a coach is worth thinking about it. I have spots open, and there are multiple ways to work with me. You can pick from short-term or long-term and the frequency of sessions. Check out the details on my website.
“Working with Laura in her 6-month program has been wonderful! She interacts with me in a very real way — she is knowledgeable, kind, a good listener, and non-judging in her approach to our sessions. She has shown me, time and time again, that she is committed to helping me reach my health and wellness goals, and I love the flexibility she’s given me in our sessions, allowing me to work through the goals I present at that moment in my life — and still staying focused on the bigger goals I created for myself when we started working together.
I truly value her insight! There have been many times, in our work together, when her perspective has really shifted the way I was viewing something in my life and helped me to be more successful when taking on that particular goal or challenge. Laura is a wonderful coach, and you’ll truly enjoy her enthusiasm and excitement as you work through your goals with her in your corner. “~ Julie
If you’re not sure if this is right for your, then let’s chat or even better yet, I’ll do a free session, so you can see what the heck I’m talking about! Stop holding it all in, numbing or letting things come out in spurts. It feels pretty fantastic to have that release and to be held in the soft embrace of listening. And then to actually do something about it rather than continuing to vent.
May you listen
with your heart,
so it’s more than
with your ears.
May you realize
the taking in is
over the spouting out.
May someone give you
the most sacred gift
of being heard.
May you know the
soft and powerful
How do you listen?
Who is listening to you?
I’ve made a career out of listening and helping people ~ I have spots open.