Awareness in communication means listening and speaking without judgment. There are constantly thousands of impressions running through our heads in each and every moment, even as you are reading this sentence. Is this right or wrong? Is it helpful, or not? Intelligent or stupid stuff? It’s not so bad to be flooded by these impressions, as long as we keep in mind that they determine our perspective in situations, practices and challenges. For possible potential and solutions, it can be more or less helpful. This actually reminds me of a saying from the Dalai Lama: “ When you talk you are only repeating what you already know; But when you listen you may learn something new”.
So, how does listening and speaking without judgment work?
First step. Not speaking doesn’t necessarily mean that you are actively listening, exactly for the reasons that are mentioned above.Just approach it in a very practical way the next time you’re in a discussion, pay attention to your thoughts and judgments about what the speaker has to say. Keep following it, but don’t get stuck on every word in order to fire back at the speaker with your counter argument or contrasting position. If you find it hard to hold back, then simply write your thoughts down, but stay connected to the speaker and listen until they’re done. When you keep the connection intact – most easily done through appreciation, curiosity, and by keeping eye contact – together you can reach a whole new level, which nobody thought was possible before. And that’s the point, right? If we only support our own position, then we don’t learn anything, and we might as well just save our breath and do without the whole discussion in the first place. That strategy isn’t a successful route to innovation.
The second step could be to approach a discussion with openness. Before, it was my principle to never go into a discussion unprepared. I saw it as strictly unprofessional if I wouldn’t have fully thought out the issue and concocted my position beforehand. Most of the time I even came prepared with a strategy so that I could defend my position as best as possible. Then it would take a whole lot from someone else from the other side to convince me. I just looked at counter arguments as fine-tuning for argumentation of my position that could make my side even stronger. Not only was it horribly time-consuming, but it was also a huge waste of resources for my colleagues, employees, and partner, and it certainly wasn’t bursting with potential.
If you want to rise up to your highest potential today, the ideal trait to invoke would be listening, and then allow it to sink in and sense where your intuition and inspiration lead you to a feeling of coherence and energetic stimulation. Don’t react right away, and avoid thinking about the pros and cons. Instead, ask yourself questions, challenge yourself, and expand in that sensation. Not only does that allow for coherence between the mind and the heart, but also the connection to your highest potential.
The third step that you can take is to consciously pause for couple minutes after a meeting – that can be anywhere, even in the bathroom if there’s nowhere else to go – and get yourself clear inside in order to be fully present and attentive for the next topic. The danger in quickly moving onto another meeting on a new topic without pausing beforehand is that you could lessen the quality of your intuition and inspiration or shift it. It would turn into a purely cognitive exchange of positions, and in the worst cases, it can lead to self-righteousness or power struggles. In fact, maybe you will find that less meetings are necessary because you are more effective, and everyone gets more out if it: You, the employees, clients, management, committeesand shareholders.
The fourth step concerns the modus in which you operate. You can also thrive as a satellite receiver, not tied down to one single radio station in which the program is broadcast, so to speak. If you tune into your company – listen in, watch the development, see what’s going on, dial into the global frequency, open up your senses, then you are logging in to the universal potential. In a figurative sense, you make yourself receptive to something new, which wants to come into being. It is something that you cannot passively overlook or overhear, because you are actually receiving it. Try it out.
Photo by Manuel Bauer
weekly excerpt from the book THE NEXT WAVE IN BUSINESS
wishing you a week in awareness;
yours, Stefan Götz+