Clear Confident Leader Weekly Observer, Issue #7
From the Greenbelt of Boise, Idaho, Crispness of Fall
To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the 'music,' but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind's hearing to your ears' natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning.
– Peter Senge
In today’s always-on environment, with ubiquitous screen access to a never ending flow of infotainment, it is easy to let go of fully listening to ourselves and those around us. We can be seduced by the siren song of the next episode, game, data point, or incoming tweet, text, email demanding our attention.
By over-focusing on the latest “flash” attracting our eyesight, we miss the deeper meaning found by listening fully to the insight available inside our ourselves, and from those around us. Our deepest human needs include being seen, understood and accepted. When we aren’t listening to ourselves and those around us, we create a dissonance that can grow into distrust, fear, anger and grief.
How often do you find yourself reacting to someone’s approach or question without letting
go of what you were doing previously?
How often do you settle yourself, slow down and consciously choose to listen fully?
Listening to perceive is a choice we make, to focus our attention on becoming more aware and conscious, understanding ourselves and those around us using all of our senses. To listen fully, we must first connect and listen to ourselves. We notice and release the narrative that is running in our mind. We accept and let go of the energy in motion (e-motion) running through us. We access the deeper silence that enables us to open our bodies, hearts and minds to truly hear the deeper meaning of what is being said.
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God. – Maya Angelou
Making time to listen to ourselves without distractions is an important practice to being an effective leader in today’s world. It provides a foundation enabling us to better listen to those around us. When we listen to connect and truly understand those around us, we engage in a creative dialogue. By fully listening we assist them, and gain insight for ourselves.
Perhaps the most important thing we could do with our life and with our leadership is to listen to
people so expertly, to give them attention so respectfully they would begin to think for themselves,
clearly and afresh. – Nancy Kline
When we enter into dialogue by listening fully, we open the door to discover and create meaning. We stimulate thinking in others and ourselves, laying the ground for creating a better future together.
By choosing to Listen to Perceive, we take a step toward becoming Clear Confident Leaders. It is a life long journey we can all pursue. Download The Clear Confident Leadership Map. As a map, it provides a representation of the territory to explore and master. The actual territory we encounter is unique for each of us.
Let’s create a better future today!