Life and Spiritual Coaching

August 12, 2008

Listening and Understand other People

Filed under: Communications — by Donna Ritter @ 1:34 pm
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Do you remember that saying “Before I can walk in another’s shoes, I must first remove my own?” Communication is the deepest need of the human heart and soul. Everyone wants to be respected and valued for who they are. If you want someone to open up to you, they need to feel safe and understood.  

The number one thing you need to do is to listen. Most people have poor listening skills though. When people are talking we seldom listen because we are busy thinking about how we will respond. These are the most common poor listening styles:

·         Spacing out: the typical adult human’s attention span is about 20 minutes, but if they aren’t hooked, spacing out can be a problem. You need to actively listen to people to keep your mind on what they are saying.

·         Pretend listening: Some people make comments like “yeah” or “sounds great” when all along they still aren’t listening.

·         Selective listening: This is when you pay attention only to the part that interests you. This won’t win you any lasting relationships!

·         Self-centered listening: This happens when we see everything from our own point of view instead of trying to understand how the person feels.

·         Judging: Sometimes, as we listen to others, we make judgments about them and what they are saying. If you are busy judging, you are not really listening are you?

·         Advising: This is when we give advice drawn from our own experience – they typical “When I was your age…” speech you get from your elders.

Genuine listening:

First listen with your eyes, heart and ears. Listening with your ears alone isn’t good enough, because you typically only pick up 7% of what is being said. The rest comes from body language (53%) and the tone or feeling reflected in our voice (40%).

To hear what people are really saying, you need to listen to what they are not saying. No matter how hard people appear on the surface, everyone is tender inside and has a desperate need to be understood.

Second, stand in their shoes. To become a genuine listener, you need to put yourself in the other persons place.

Third, practice mirroring. This is very effective. Repeat back in your own words what you here the other person saying. Mirroring phrases are “As I get it, you felt that…” or “So, what you’re saying is…”

After you have mastered actively listening to a person, you are half the way to a great communicator. Next, seek to be understood. Giving feedback requires that you first understand the person and then you can get your message across to them in a way they will understand.

Working with Passion

Filed under: Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 12:51 pm
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Everyone needs passion. If I am not passionate about what I am doing, I am not eager to get out of bed in the morning. At first I thought my career and my children were my passion. After 30 years working at the same career, I realized I didn’t have that fire left in my gut. So, I looked around at my kids, and they were getting ready to leave the nest. I thought about it quite awhile and then realized that although that saddened me, I would have been much more upset if they didn’t get to the point of wanting the leave the nest!

After that notion sunk in, I realized I had to find something that I was passionate about to do during the day. So I went through a process of figuring out what that would be by listing the things about prior jobs that I liked (and that I didn’t), looked over the myriad of assessment tests I  had taken in the corporate world, and realized that I really liked helping people do things they never thought they could do. I liked mentoring people to help them progress in their careers. I wanted to give something back to the universe.

In hindsight, I probably would have been a good teacher, but I wasn’t about to go back to school to get an education degree. I already had a BA in psychology, but ended up in the computer industry since it was my minor. I never left.

I started studying coaching with Franklin Covey and I found that I felt jazzed again!

Give yourself a chance to slow down if you feel you are running out of steam and take a hard look at what you do each day. Does it help anyone? Do you feel good about it? If not, do yourself a favor and get a coach to help you figure it out and live your best life again!


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