• Kim F Vaughan

The art of listening

Today I've been reminded about what listening means. As a coach, I shouldn't need to be reminded how important it is, should I? Yet, sometimes, a different way of looking at something can bring insight on an idea that is commonplace, and bring it to life.

I have two ears and one mouth and try to use them proportionally during conversations. During one such conversation, my client in Singapore showed me this.

The traditional Chinese symbol for listening, 'ting', comprises elements that demonstrate the full spectrum of its meaning. Yes, the ears feature. But so do the heart, the eyes, being present, thinking strategically and focusing.

When we listen properly, we are not simply processing auditory signals. We are concentrating 100% on interpreting a range of signals to derive meaning. When we do that, we can reflect back that we have heard and understood. Properly. What a gift.

Remember to listen properly to your partner, children, family, friends and colleagues. You'll be amazed what a difference it makes.

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