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Leadership & Change issue 12

What Do You Hear When You Truly Listen?

  • 09 October 2014
  • Posted by Marcella Bremer

What’s emerging from the field of leadership and change? We collect the contributions from our authors, our community, every month - because Leadership & Change magazine is a co-creation about positive leadership, culture & change. What’s up? What is our collective status update? Let’s uncover the spontaneous theme that emerged from the contributions to issue 12.

Listen and lean into - the other

Graham Williams conveys what it means to be truly listening - as one of the vital leadership skills. Listening means: being open, letting go of your own agenda, and being aware and present with the other person - while we synchronize our mirror neurons and thus, together, create a field of empathy, bonding, understanding - and creation. New insights and projects emerge – something subtle shifts when we share our undivided attention... Do you ever truly listen?

Me in my busy bubble

I may do this too little myself. I’m too busy, most of the time. I’m overwhelmed and distracted by emails, consulting projects through OCAI online and our brand new online survey system, clients, deadlines, technical support, my own ambitions, whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, my family, speaking assignments, travel schedules, conferences and whatnot (in random order). It is easy to stay locked in my own world - and to listen for what I already know and agree with. Especially since I’m in a hurry...

Let me pay attention to listening with respect – and notice and appreciate the differences. Listening is the common theme that spontaneously emerged in issue 12 - and what I apparently need to be hearing again. Of course: we all know this. But knowing something is not the same as applying it consistently. Doing it on a daily basis.

What message do you need to hear?

Greg Richardson is a recovering workaholic, as he says in issue 12. He used to have an unhealthy relationship with work. Are you listening to your body? Your emotions? Your friends? Your heart? Your purpose? Your spiritual needs? Or is all you hear, the voice of work, Duty calling?

Our minds may be too arrogant and impatient, too prejudiced to listen openly to ourselves, to others, to lean into situations... Quickly scanning for new inputs and checking off what we expected.

Open and alert: can you find the signal in the noise?

I invite you to listen with the ear in your chest. Slow down. Let the stimuli sink from the hurried head to the knowing heart. Listen to what you hear, between the lines. What message do you need to hear? What are people saying when you drop into a conversation or tune into a radio station? What line did you see first, in this article? What’s the voice in your head saying? Can you find the signal in the noise?

How do you help yourself truly listen?

Marcella Bremer,
co-founder OCAI online and Leadership & Change Magazine

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