Listening With Intention

Have you ever had the experience of a conversation flowing seamlessly? One that makes you feel like the other person gets you and both of you end up smiling as you lean towards each other. It’s the effect that comes from listening with intention. It can give a feeling of having had one of the best conversations ever.

On the other hand, what about the experience of feeling that you and the other person might as well be speaking in different languages? Both of you don’t seem to be agreeing on anything and as the communication gets progressively worse, each thinks that the other is being stubborn or is totally off their rocker! It leaves you determined to avoid each other even though the other person might be someone you know really well and otherwise like a lot

It happened to me recently. I was catching up with an old friend and we started talking about health and well-being. After a while, I realised that both of us were a bit frustrated with the way the conversation was going. We seemed to be cutting each other off and speaking at the same time. She seemed almost angry with me, and since I care about this friend, I paused to hear what was going on.

I realised that she was talking about mental well-being and how important it was, while I was stressing on the physical bit. And though we both saw each other’s point, we were hell bent on defending our views. It was almost like we were speaking different languages as the image of health in my mind was totally different from hers.

So, I stopped talking and gave her my full attention. I nodded, repeated her words and slowly she started leaning towards me. It’s at this point that she opened to me – when she felt ‘heard’. As I began contributing my thoughts, in no time we both were eagerly nodding at each other’s suggestions and laughing together. At that moment, we regained our rapport and the faith in our relationship.

Think about it – doesn’t this happen when we don’t really ‘listen’ and we hear to reply? Our intention gets communicated at the subconscious level and the other person feels ‘not heard’ or ‘neglected’. Our subconscious is very quick to pick up signals and what is not being said. The moment the attention waivers, the other person notices and the rapport breaks.

People who value relationships know this. You will observe some people put away their phones and lean towards you with the real intention of listening to you. It is these times that you find yourselves opening up.

Have you ever noticed how you feel better after a visit to a good doctor? The difference in treatment is not the medicine, but the undivided and uninterrupted attention the doctor gives you. That is what all of us seek and it is therapeutic.

Thus, the secret to great communication and enriching relationships is fairly simple – to hear with the full intention of listening. Professionally this is one of the best ways to retain clients and gain new ones. On the personal front, you will end up with real conversations and richer experiences while learning a lot about the other person. After all, if a relationship is important, it’s worth your while to invest time into it by truly listening.

Payal Talwar
Payal Talwar

With over 13 years of experience in the field of learning and development, Payal wears many hats as a Life and Performance Coach, Life-skills Trainer, Educator and Administrator. Armed with an MSc and MBA degree, Payal is certified in Adult Learning, a Certified NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer from NFNLP, U.S., along with being a certified Law of Attraction trainer and NLP Life and Performance coach. She is the co-founder of WINGS Team, a dream that everyday achieves its goal of helping people empower themselves. She has worked with educational institutions, corporates and government organisations, having coached and supported people from all walks of life in discovering their true potential. A two times author of, ‘Kanta Bai Pvt Ltd.’ and ‘Me And My Middle Age’, Payal comes from an army background. While her passion lies in interacting with people, she also dabbles in painting when she’s not writing. She advocates Running as both a passion and a discipline, and it’s evident in every aspect of her life.

4 thoughts on “Listening With Intention”

  1. Now that’s an advice I needed to hear today. What with multitasking and time crunch, one often jumps to replies and solutions sidelining the real purpose of conversation- to listen, and be listened to.

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