What's your personal brand?

Thinking about listening

Posted on: Thursday, September 13, 2018 Category: Blog (50)

By Emily Kucukalic

Throughout my career, I have attended various ‘active listening’ courses. As a salesperson, parent, leader and partner, it is an incredibly important skill. And one that I have worked very hard to achieve mediocre results. You see, just like we all fit into extrovert/introvert boxes, I think we all fit into talker/listeners. And I am a talker!

There are many different experts in listening and the best place to start is with people who do it for a living. I mean really do it.

Wilfred Bion, an influential British Psychoanalyst who was active at the turn of the 19thcentury and through a large part of the 20th, gave us this insight;

“The purest form of listening is to listen without memory or desire.”

To not try to remember why or to work out how.

And American psychologist Carl Rogers, one of the founders of the humanistic approach and worked for the greater part of the 20th Century;

“The great majority of us cannot listen; we find ourselves compelled to evaluate because listening is too dangerous. The first requirement is courage and we do not always have it.”

Why courage? Well really listening means being ready to be changed. Being prepared to be wrong. Being interested in alternatives. Seeking the truth. Opening up wounds. Finding chaos.

To be truly present, to really have impact, to have a powerful and sustainable brand – you have to get good at listening. So, next time you are talking to someone you know well, think about what is going through your mind. Think about what you are thinking. Then clear it. Then try to repeat to yourself what they said. And be courageous.

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