“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;
courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
When I joined Prestigious Speakers Toastmasters’ Club in March 2013, I thought that we just practice public speaking, but it became also a learning journey to listening. I realized that as soon as my mind wonders I might miss a valuable piece of information. I had to keep my mind silent in order to really hear what was said, but this turned out to be just a warm-up for my next learning experience…
During our first weekend in the University of Santa Monica I learnt about heart-centered listening. This concept encourages to recognize the loving essence, which might be hidden under layers of hurt & pain, and listen to another person openly without judgment. This way you can pour in love and compassion into that moment and truly hear them.
As anything, this is also a learning curve. Sometimes our mind is not like a blue sky, it might be covered with clouds of thoughts. Those clouds can block our ears and our heart. How could you really listen if there is a thunder going on in your head?
Challenge for November is to become more aware about your habits during one conversation per day. Take notice of your thoughts and behavior; are you fully present, are you really listening or is your computer like mind already searching for your next line to say or next argument to rise? Set an aim to really openly listen what other person has to say and trust that you will have enough time to come up with an answer or comment afterwards. Track down your feelings and thoughts.
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