We all have a belief in our lives, but one of the things that I do in the training that I do is teach people how to listen.
Now I might be teaching people how to listen from the point of view of taking minutes of being a supervisor of mentoring encouraging, or maybe it could be just in a stressful situation of how we can improve our listening to improve the situation.
One of the inhibitors to listening is bias.
One of the things that can stop us, there are many, but one of the things that can stop us from listening is our bias.
That can mean that can present itself in two ways.
It can be:
I already know all of this, I don’t need to listen to what you’re saying.
I know what you’re going to say, based on what you look like or who you are or how old you are.
We dismiss what they have to say based on our belief of who they are.
We present this bias. So I want to challenge you to do something a little bit different.
This is a philosophy that has his premise or its beginning in Buddhism. It’s about not passing judgment, of having no judgment, of increasing your awareness and detaching from the situation, so that you can see things without bias and hear things without bias. Where you might apply this is in situations.
For example, a salesperson might say to themselves, “I’ve got an appointment with this person. I know exactly what they need and I’m going to sell them this product”.
We make the assumption that we know something about somebody rather than listening and hearing and asking questions to know that more.
When we go into those situations, we limit the opportunity.
I’ve been at workshops or seminars where somebody might get up on a stage to speak, based on the environment, how they dress, how they speak, what they are talking about.
I have a pre-position to what they’re going to say. I’ve found myself having to park that and listen. A great coach once said to a group of people, when he was delivering some training, “I’m not asking you to abandon your beliefs. I’m not asking you to dismiss what you believe in. What I’m asking you to do is leave it at the door. Just park it there. When you leave at the end of today, those beliefs will still be there, right? You can pick them up, you can carry them. You don’t have to abandon them.”
We don’t have to take on board what I’m sharing with you, but I’m just asking you to put them aside and let them rest for a moment. Let them sit over there. It’s a really powerful thing to do because when you do that, when you do park beliefs, you truly listen.
What it can do is either empower you, inform you or give you the opportunity to learn something new. You can take on board all, or just a little of what that person is sharing with you. Or you can say, “no, I don’t agree with that”, but I’ve listened and heard it.
You don’t have to take onboard what that person is saying, but it informs your beliefs. It allows you to go. What I believe in is stronger. And it’s What you say no to, that makes your yes so much stronger.
If you’re able to dismiss something from an informed position, what you believe in is so much stronger. By parking your beliefs, you’re enabling yourself to have a more informed decision around what it is that you believe in. You’re able to either take on something new or strengthen what you currently believe in.
It’s a difficult thing to do. I find it challenging.
I have to put myself in check sometimes. Park what you want to believe about this person, this theory, this information that’s being shared with you, just park it and listen.
See and hear that person in front of you and what they’re sharing before you pass judgment or make judgment.
Give it a go. I encourage you to do it to detach from the situation.
See if you can observe, what’s actually being said, shared or happening in front of you. See it for what it is and then make a decision. Then come back to your own beliefs.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments about this. Please comment below
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About the Author
Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships