Zen: Finding enlightenment through intuition and introspection.
Listening: Making an effort to attentively hear another person speaking.
Therefore Zen Listening might be best described as the art of using one’s intuition and introspection to be fully present with another person during a conversation for the purpose of thoroughly hearing and understanding the other person’s communication.
And why is this so important?
Because when we thoroughly listen we create a very powerful communication dynamic that in turn deepens any and all of our relationships. . . perhaps if everyone practiced Zen Listening we might have far fewer conflicts. You, however, will for sure create a more powerful presence in your own world by being a more effective listener; a Zen Listener.
“Active listening” is a term that has been around for a while and it is closely aligned to Zen Listening. Zen Listening and active listening mean the following:
- Letting go of your own agendas, opinions, judgments, and/or advice.
- Being present with the other person and disconnecting from your own thoughts.
- Inviting the other person to say more.
- Asking for clarification when you are unclear about what is being said.
- Offering understanding when you really “get” what the other person is conveying.
- Since this is all about understanding (and not at all about agreeing), there is no right or wrong. Your role, therefore, is to be the objective listener and observer.
- Listening with all your senses and your intuition to really get a thorough experience of the other person’s communication.
- And when in doubt, asking the other person what it is that they would like from you. If they request input or advice, then feel free to offer such, but if not, then be prepared to offer your best Zen Listening.
Unfortunately none of us had a “relationships 101” course in our schooling, very few of us have taken a good communications course, and many of us have had questionable communication and relationship role models. Therefore it is our responsibility, if we want healthy, lasting, and fulfilling relationships, to learn how to be effective communicators. The best communicator is the one who does the most powerful listening and who doesn’t emotionally react.
I invite you to become a more powerful communicator through Zen Listening. . . who knows, maybe you’ll even change the world!
Ken Donaldson has been based in Tampa Bay offering counseling, coaching, and educational programs since 1987. His REALationship Coaching programs empower people to have more successful lives, businesses and relationships by building a powerful relationship with themselves first. Visit his website at http://www.REALationshipCoach.com for more information and sign-up his free e-program Illuminations and Sparks of Brilliance. Ken is also the author of the upcoming book Marry YourSelf First!