Content originally taken from eBella Magazine, “Get Real” by Kelly Townsend
The most important key to successful relationships in the work environment is being a powerful communicator.
Communication begins with listening. Unfortunately, very few of us are good listeners. Sure, you might think you are, but I’m here to tell you, the ordinary and mechanical listening human beings inherited with language automatically impedes us from being in the here and now — what I call ‘being present.’ Most of the time, we are not present and don’t even realize it. To be honest, we have a lot of noise going on in our heads that is undistinguished, and it doesn’t allow us to be present
with others. This is the biggest cause of breakdowns in communication, which have an extraordinary impact on
the success of relationships in organizations.
The key to being present with others is to distinguish the already inherited listening mechanism for human beings.
Here’s how the inherited mechanism works: as we listen to others speak, we’re in a constant conversation with
ourselves about what the other person is saying. The next time you talk with someone, notice that you’re probably
having your own conversation to determine whether you agree or disagree with what’s being said, and whether you
think what’s being said is right or wrong, true or false, good or bad. Then you’re left with your assessment of what
you thought the other person said, rather than what they actually said. In short, you create your own interpretation
of what was said — which might not be accurate — and act upon that interpretation. Can you imagine the impact
that has on communication? We are not listening while pretending to ourselves and others that we are.
The Benefits To Being Present
•You’ll hear what someone is actually saying
•The person you’re speaking with will feel that what they say matters to you. Imagine that!
•You’ll spend less time trying to remember conversations and what people actually said.
•You’ll experience a new level of “relatedness” that’s only possible to experience while being present.
•Productivity will go way up for you and the people you impact.
So How Do You Know You’re Not Present?
•You didn’t hear anything the person just said.
•You heard part of what someone said, but you also completed your grocery list in your head while they were talking.
•While someone is speaking to you, you’ve just found more evidence that you were right about them since the first time you met them.
•You think you know what they’re going to say, and finish their sentence for them.
The best gift you can give to others is the gift of being present, in the present. Try it, and watch your relationships and productivity flourish.