What? Wait. You mean there’s an inner voice that does more than point out all the ways I’m not stacking up?
That’s exactly what I’m saying. It’s very loving, in fact. It doesn’t say things to produce counterfeit confidence to puff us up to project an image, and it doesn’t say things that are harsh either.
Hearing your loving and compassionate inner voice is an essential practice for developing one of the most important communication skills: LISTENING.
Communication isn’t all about eloquently speaking, it’s not about precise body language, and it’s not using the perfect anecdote – although those are all important in getting a message across. To truly communicate, listen.
Powerful Listeners are Powerful Leaders
Listening matters. Intuitive listening is at the heart of influential leaders. Intuitive listening builds bridges and helps minds meet. Intuitive listening provides the ability to hear past words to get to the core truth – to acknowledge and validate fear or anger – to connect and engage others at the deepest level.
Listening is the open door to every relationship.
Having someone really listen to you is a profound experience. Dr. Dan Siegel states that having another person to mirror back what you say is the most impactful way to increase awareness.
The greatest joy of coaching involves getting beliefs, conditioned thoughts, and perceptions out of the way to hear the voice inside that tells the truth. Finding THAT voice opens the door to listening well to others.
Quiet Your Own Critic
So that harsh inner critic that reminds you of your shortcomings? Yea, stop giving it credibility. Practicing self-compassion when the critical voice shows up takes conscious thinking and deliberate reframing at times. “I heard that,” you might say. “I” is the inner-voice of compassion. It isn’t the critic, it’s the one who hears the critic.
Learning to listen to your true self – the loving and compassionate one – brings a level of awareness that raises your energy level, suspends judgment, and distinguishes between that inner voice and the harsh, critical one.
With practice over time, it’s not the compassionate inner voice that gets LOUDER, it’s the self-critical voice that gets quieter.
In that state of mind, you can listen to truly hear what others are saying.
What are my biggest obstacles in effective listening?
What is the last thing my loving and compassionate inner voice has spoken to me?
What would change for me if I improved my listening skills or experienced being deeply listened to myself?
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