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Give Someone a Good Listening To

Coach Clare Wildman doesn't believe that telling people what to do is always the right way, there is a time and a place for it for sure. To help people long term though........ the best help is for them to find their own answers, develop their own skills and confidence and watch them come alive.

Recently I had a day when my to-do list went out the window. I’d planned the things I was going to get done by the close of play and I achieved less than half. Normally that would be seen to be a failure by many but on reflection I think it was a huge success. In the morning I’d been training at one of our local charities. At the end of the session I gave some feedback to one of the attendees and didn’t leave until 2 hrs later. You see my feedback led to a fascinating conversation as I was with an incredibly interesting gentleman and in that time I got to learn so much about him. As he said “it’s great when you get to make a real connection with someone”.

Then in the evening our normal catch-up about our days led to Mike telling me about various projects at work and all sorts of new ideas that may, or may not, be implemented. The content was interesting but what was most important was that he had someone to listen and a chance to process his own thoughts.

In all areas of our life it is becoming more and more of a habit for us all to trade bits of information while carrying out another task. So often that leads to mis-understandings, frustration and resentment. Though it often feels that we haven’t got the time to listen try making the time. Then REALLY listen. Give the other person 100% of your concentration. Listen to what they are not saying as well as the things they are putting into words. Take in their tone of voice, watch their body language. Most importantly stop running through other things in your head and preparing what you are going to say. Just listen.

The person you are communicating with will have a wonderful experience. They’ll feel like you have given them a gift, and you have. As for you........ you’ll have learnt so much more by listening properly. Take a minute after to reflect on the difference between that conversation and the one you would normally have had.

I can’t guarantee it but it’s likely that you’ll have saved yourself a whole bunch of time by listening properly the first time and you’ll certainly have improved your connection with the other person.

Twitter: @ClareWildman

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