“The soft stuff is the hard stuff and the hard stuff is the easy stuff”
Active listening is hearing what someone is really trying to convey, rather than just the meaning of the words they are speaking – Do what I mean, not what I say
There are 3 levels of active listening:
Level 1: Internal listening
We hear the words being spoken, and although we may be very attentive, we interpret them through our own lens. When listening, we are thinking “How is this going to affect me” and miss the speaker’s real message.
Level 2: Focused listening
When listening we let go of our own thoughts and put ourselves in the mind of the speaker. We empathize with their thoughts, experience and emotions as they tell us about the situation.
Level 3: Global listening
We build on the approach in level 2, adding a higher level of awareness, like the antennae function, to pick up on the subtle physical & environmental indicators. These indicators can include the speaker’s movements or posture, their energy level, and the atmosphere or vibe in the room. We notice factors like whether the speaker is voicing the information openly in front of others or privately, the mannerism of others who are within earshot and many other clues to help us understand a fuller context of the information being shared.