Many Rooms Within Us
The Listening Experience
One of the most amazing rewards of being a trained listener is that I get to listen to some amazing people; who have the most amazing resources within them. As they tap into their inner wisdom the words flow and sometimes they are their own words; sometimes they are words from something they have read or heard that captures how they feel; other times they cannot be sure of the source only that the words make sense of their own experience now in this moment.
You may have read my recent article called “You welcomed me” written by one of my clients who wishes to remain anonymous.
This beautiful soul has a mind that makes wonderful connections between nodes of information and often much faster than she can find the words to articulate them and I am blessed to know her.
I remember a time when I personally was criticised for not getting to the point fast enough or not making sense or waffling. And I remember listening intently to others wondering the same. I was guilty of judging others in the same way I was judged.
But as Maya Angelou says: When you know better; you do better.
At the time I was still sensitive; I would be distraught that the way I was communicating was so frustrating for others and that I could not get myself heard and understood.
I was equally frustrated that they were so focused on ‘how’ I was communicating rather than what I was actually trying to say.
Thank goodness I finally found Clean Language and trained to be a professional listener because that gave me the tools to boil down my thinking to clear concise words that others could understand more easily and it gave me the tools to resource those that were finding it hard to listen to me.
Now when I am criticised for taking too long, I can say something like; “I am working my way through my thoughts to give you the answer you are wanting; and when it is taking too long for you and I can go away and think about this and come back or you can ask me some questions to speed the process up; “What would you like to have happen?”
It is a gift to no longer take these comments personally.
There is something magical about the world when we listen. When we hear another human being and witness the whole of them without judgement, it allows the whole of them to be witnessed, heard, understood and valued by themselves as much as anyone.
Metaphors also allow us to explore and articulate to ourselves and others complex things in an easy to comprehend way. As you read this notice what is happening for you. Can you resonate? Does it evoke an emotion? Be curious! And my client thinks these words are not her own but cannot remember where they came from. If you know the owner let me know and I will credit them in this article.
Many Rooms Within Us
I can feel like I should be able to do this work without asking or needing help. I am often self-reliant and motivated, but I can find it difficult to accept doing things for my own self-care as being important. This feels incredibly vulnerable to me and worry it maybe perceived as a weakness. I need to know that I am enough rather than what I do or provide is enough.
Others might be more likely to ask for support because they have the long range plan and motivation but there is just a bit that isn’t coming together. Maybe it’s outside of their expertise or they don’t know what that missing ‘bit’ is. Maybe they have a hunger to share their passion with others who have an overlapping area of interest whilst others reach out to avoid burn-out. And some reach out simply for connection.
We all have many rooms within us, we need to visit them daily, if only to keep them aired.
What your programmes, do for me?
They are a reminder to say a ‘hi there’ to each part of me, creative, social, intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical as well as checking in with environmental and economic. It’s like it is more of an open plan arrangement now. I have windows between all the rooms so I can see at a glance if there is light shining in. I know if one of the rooms are darker, maybe it needs the shutters to change the angle to shift the direction that the light is coming in.
What happens when you listen to this article?
What is happening inside and out?
What does your critic say? What does your cheerleader say? What is happening to emotional buttons?
It is easy to think that we should know better or we should be able to do this kind of thinking by ourselves for ourselves; but the reality is that we simply cannot see, hear or experience the whole of ourselves at anyone time. It is the connection with others that gives us insight and understanding of self. It is how others react, respond and reflect us back to us; that gives us access to parts of us that are outside our awareness.
And sometimes we gain a sense of self based on other people’s biases.
Perhaps we are called stupid, slow or fat based on their map of the world.
Equally we can be called beautiful, smart and confident based on how they experience and perceive those qualities to be represented in a person and if our own map is different we may not believe their perception of us.
All of us have been influenced and guided by all that we have heard, seen and felt during our life time.
So how do you get to know yourself?
That is when clean language and clean feedback become invaluable for me.
You get yourself reflected back and you decide if you are describing yourself fairly or not. As you get to know yourself better you know you can listen to the perspective of others, ask questions to understand and then decide consciously how you will filter what you have heard.
When you understand yourself at this level you can be more of who you are really are; not who you become to please everyone else.
To find out more about yourself check out Clarity Retreats and our highly successful Clarity Confidence and Change 5 week online group coaching programme. Alternatively if you want to be best listener you can be and you want to be able to hold space and motivate and manage others through change don’t miss our Listening skills retreat – Motivate, Manage or Mentor
Founder of Step by Step Listening, Sheryl Andrews has always been keen to create space where other people felt safe to speak their truth no matter what that was. She is well known for her ability to motivate manage and mentor others through change and loves nothing more than turning overwhelm into a clarity and confidence that change can and is happening.
Sheryl and her team now runs retreats, one to one coaching and online group coaching course that provide you with a space and time to gain clarity, focus and direction whilst unraveling what is really holding you back and plan your next best step with confidence. For regular updates and examples of how listening skills can resource you to manage yourself, time and others through change check out Free Success without stress newsletter
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