Sarah hamilton's Blog

This is where you'll find my musings on Gratitude, Inspiration, Stillness and Awe…. "Transform your thoughts, transform your life"

The Most Important Part of a Conversation April 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahhamiltoncoaching @ 10:40 AM
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I was chatting with a friend this morning about something I tweeted the other day, “The only thing one has to do in a conversation is listen.” He disagreed.  Which led me to ask why and we talked.  His belief is that it is important, by not the Only thing or there would be no exchange of ideas.  Which is very true.  So I was led to clarify myself…. Listening is the most important part of a conversation.

There is an expression that we have 2 eyes, 2 ears and 1 mouth so we can use our ears twice as much as our mouth.  As a life coach we are taught to listen.  Hearing what and how our clients are talking.  We hear what they are saying not what we think they are saying.  I have learned that there are 3 levels of listening. Subjective, Objective and Intuitive:

Level 1) Subjective listening

Listening is based on the agenda of needs of the listener.  Whatever is said is related back to the listener.

Client: “I had the toughest time trying to get myself up a half hour earlier to take my morning walk.”
Coach: (Answering based on how the coach would handle the situation) “You just have to force yourself.  When I have something to do that I don’t want to do I just remember the Nike commercial, ‘Just do it’”

Level 2) Objective Listening

The listener is completely focused on the person who is speaking.  There are no thoughts about how any of the information relates personally to the listener.  This level is very effective but doesn’t get to the heart of the matter.

Client: “I had the toughest time trying to get myself up a half hour earlier to take my morning walk.”
Coach: You had a struggle but you made it. Congratulations!

Level 3) Intuitive Listening

The listener is listening to all sensory components and intuitively connecting to the speaker’s real message.  The listener is paying attention to not only what the speaker is saying but also to the speaker’s tone of voice, energy level, feelings, etc.  The listener is also paying attention to what is NOT being said.  This is the most powerful form of listening and allows the listener to really connect with the speaker.

Client: “I had the toughest time trying to get myself up a half hour earlier to take my morning walk.”
Coach: (Answers after feeling, without much thinking.)  It sounds like you really want to do this, but are so exhausted that you find it to be very challenging and maybe even a little frustrating.

I have learned that the most effective kind of listening is a combination of levels 2 and 3, mixed with effective open-ended questions.  So use your ears and eyes to hear what the person is saying and how the person is speaking.   It can open up a whole new world when  you actually hear someone and not what you think you are hearing. So again…. Listening is the Most important part of a conversati0n.




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