The Best Crowbar You Own: Your Full Attention
“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” ~Bryant H. McGill
There is one sure way of leveraging the relationships you have with people: Listen to them.
And when you do, listen with your full attention.
For two minutes. Not so long a stretch and about what most people require in order to have felt heard.
But most of us do not listen fully when someone else is talking.
Our minds wander. We wonder when they’ll take a breath, or what we should have for dinner. We nod and say the appropriate things, but we’re thinking about all the other things on our to-do list. Or we form our rebuttal, or look for ways to correct the speaker. We do lots of things other than listen fully.
But, listening can be tiring, because it demands you hear “the spaces” when people communicate, to hear what’s not being said as well as what is being said, and that takes a lot of focused attention. To listen for “the whole.” It takes effort, which is why so few bother so often.
To create an environment where trust can take root and productivity bloom, we need to turn down the anxious chatter that runs rampant in our minds.
Something amazing occurs, something almost alchemical, when we take a moment to focus our full attention on anything: There’s no room for boredom, or fatigue or passivity. When we give our full attention to someone in conversation, we connect. And connection breeds collaboration.
People are your biggest asset. That includes your not only your employees or colleagues, but also your family and friends.
And while they may be your biggest asset, if you can’t leverage them you won’t be successful.
The best crowbar you have is your full attention.
“So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti