Tuesday, January 19, 2010

79: The listening game, part 1

What did I say? What did you say? The listening game, part 1.

We talk. Other people usually don’t listen, much. Other people talk, and a bit into their talking we are busy “thinking” about what we have to say.

So, words get passed back and forth, and we don’t listen.

So, today, find someone with whom you’d like to improve communication and listen.

Get a person and a timer and set aside 30 to 50 minutes. Breathe. Relax. This is going to improve your life.

At any rate: dive in to the talking and listening as your main emotional learning component today.

Sit down in chairs facing each other, a little bit apart, but fairly close. Smile and breathe together for a bit. Close your eyes and breathe together a little more.


Now, set the timer, 2, 3 minutes. The other person talks. Listen with as much emptiness inside as you can. Can you be “without the story” as you listen? Can you have no filling up with inner words that you might/ could use to “defend” yourself?

Leave aside “your side,” while listening. Try to deeply feel what they want to say, who they are, how they are, what they want in life, what their frustrations are, how you are getting in the way. Listen, listen.

Then feedback as accurately as possible whatever they said to you. It can be exact words, or close paraphrasing. Leave all interpretation and comments out.

Just tell them as clearly as possible all they said. Then ask if you have missed anything. Then: their turn to listen. See if your speaking “your side” is changing from listening well to them.

They listen. They repeat back and “get it right.”

All day, after this, experiment with how to listen more clearly to others.

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