Something interesting came up in conversation with a friend last week.
We were talking about communication, and the ways in which that word – “communication” – doesn’t mean enough. I’ll go into more on that in a future article, but for now, what I want to tell you about is something she said that kinda blew my mind.
To truly listen, we have to trust ourselves.
Go back and read that again.
I had to think about it for a minute, and then I started listing off all the ways in which this is so very true. And how it goes well beyond the clichéd admonitions about “active listening.”
We have to trust ourselves to:
- Not start thinking about what we want to say;
- Not get defensive;
- Stay open-minded and curious;
- Be willing to believe that they believe and feel what they say they believe and feel;
- Be willing, as Alan Alda says in his podcast “Clear and Vivid,” to be changed by what we hear.
Obviously, we also have to trust the other person. Obviously, they have to trust us.
But what she showed me (thank you, Heba!) is that there are three, not just two, pieces to the puzzle.
And without our ability to trust ourselves, the whole thing falls apart. Because if we don’t trust ourselves to listen, we won’t really be listening.
Curious about how all this fits into change management and change leadership? Contact me and we’ll set a time to talk!