How to Practice Louder Listening
We all have difficult conversations in our lives. It could be at work, negotiating terms or battling for resources. It could be passionately imploring another to take your initiative on first before dire consequences happen to your team. It could be with your partner, negotiating for more help around the house or a more balanced approach to childcare. It could be a financial conversation with someone close to you where difficult decisions need to be made.
In addition to the difficult conversations we are having, give some thought to all those we are not having, but really need to be. What about those conversations that are silently festering under the surface causing issues to bubble up from the words left unspoken, issues left unresolved?
What would happen if before you even began speaking on this issue you first offered up just one idea, one way you have identified that you could be more supportive to that other person? This doesn’t mean you are offering concessions to your issue you are about to passionately fight for. It doesn’t mean you’re caving. It is one simple, peaceful offering to recognize you are one part of this relationship. This is showing that you’ve spent time thinking about and committing to do just one small thing better that will make their life better. It is taking the first step in building a bridge to where you want to go with this person. This is a hand held out open indicating you want to walk with them.
How would it change the tone of that conversation?
How would it change the outcome?
How would it change your relationship? Your reputation, even your character?
This technique is called Louder Listening from Esther Jeles. Her book on this is to be released in 2018. Before your next meeting, simply offer some thoughts on how you can be more helpful or supportive to another department, coworker or family member. Initiate collaboration. This will have the effect of a loosening on how tightly people are gripping onto their own individual agendas. This small step will build trust and completely change the tone of the conversation. I first learned this technique from the book Unthink by Erik Wahl, which I highly recommend.
I’d love to hear from you if you try this what you found changed from your expectations or normal way to enter into a conversation of compromise.
“Conflict cannot survive without your participation”
― Wayne W. Dyer
“You don’t attract what you want. You attract what you are.”
― Wayne W. Dyer