Genuine Listening

To be a good genuine listener you must do the following:

First, listen with your eyes, heart, and ears. (Note yesterday’s post on Habit 5)

Second,  stand in their shoes. To become a genuine listener, you need to take off your shoes and stand in another’s. In the words of Robert Byrne, “Until you walk a mile in another man’s moccasins you cannot impatience the smell.” You must try to see the world through their eyes, and try to feel as they feel.

Third, practice mirroring. Think like a mirror. What does a mirror do? It doesn’t judge. It doesn’t give advice. It reflects. Mirroring simply means this: Repeat back in your own words what the other person is saying and feeling. It isn’t mimicking. It’s paraphrasing.

        Mimicking is:                                              Mirroring is:

  • Repeating words                                          Repeating meaning
  • Using the same words                                 Using your own words
  • Cold & Indifferent                                        Warm & Caring

Practice the above with your students. Ask which one is more comfortable for them and which one would lead to better communication and understanding. Which one would you use for solution focused leadership?

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